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John Gay, A Profession of Friendship: A Critical Biography

Overview


This major biography is the first full-length life of John Gay (1685-1732) for over fifty years. David Nokes's detailed and extensive research has unearthed several new discoveries, including hitherto unpublished letters, and possible attributions. Presenting Gay as a complex character, torn between the hopes of court preferment and the assertion of literary independence, this book is at once a lively and readable biography for the non-specialist, as well as a comprehensive and...
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Overview


This major biography is the first full-length life of John Gay (1685-1732) for over fifty years. David Nokes's detailed and extensive research has unearthed several new discoveries, including hitherto unpublished letters, and possible attributions. Presenting Gay as a complex character, torn between the hopes of court preferment and the assertion of literary independence, this book is at once a lively and readable biography for the non-specialist, as well as a comprehensive and scholarly study.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Nokes is a fine narrative writer, adept at providing the social, literary, and political details that give a good sense of a life lived within its varied and ultimately incoherent context....Highly recommended....Should appeal to those interested in Gay, Pope, Swift, and their contemporaries."--Choice

"An absorbing book....Describes a life which is fascinating because it spans a fascinating period of history."--Literary Review

"A book which is not only a work of fine scholarship, but also one, admirably written, which offers unbounded satisfaction and intense interest. Finally, one must also compliment the Oxford University Press on a publication of an elegance, even beauty, which is as rare today as it is to find a reader of Gay's poems."--Daily Telegraph

"Much more than a conventional 'life-and-works' biography....David Nokes illuminates not just a single career, but also an entire literary milieu. Written with a positively Augustan deftness of style and wit, this is a model literary biography - meticulously researched, delicately argued, and refreshingly free of special pleading."--Sunday Telegraph

"The author is a don and his book is a scholarly one....It includes extensive comparisons between Gay's poems and those of his contemporaries...researched with impressive thoroughness....Noke writes elegantly."--Sunday Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198129714
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/13/1995
  • Pages: 592
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.81 (h) x 1.54 (d)

Meet the Author

David Nokes is Reader in English at King's College, London. He co-wrote the BBC TV adaptation of Clarissa in 1992, and his book Jonathan Swift: A Hypocrite Reversed (OUP, 1985) won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Best Biography. He is also author of No Country for Old Men (1981); and the The Long Exile of Jonathan Swift, (1981).

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