Edward “Ned” Ward (1667-1731) embodies what might be seen to typify a Grub Street hack. From his first publication, The Poet’s Ramble after Riches (1691) through a range of satires, character studies, and contributions to the political and religious debates of his time, Ward wrote out of necessity, living by his pen. The lapse of the Licensing Act in 1695 led to an explosion of print, which in turn gave rise to the first generation of men who were able to secure a living from writing without depending on an aristocratic patron. Ward wrote extensively, and with an eye on sales, aiming his work at the widest possible audience, the increasingly literate middling orders who wanted to read about their world. The …
O'Byrne, Alison. "Edward Ward". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 August 2005; last revised 30 November -1.
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