Gay wrote two separate collections of fables. The first, a group of fifty short poems, was originally published as Fables, By Mr Gay, in March 1727 and achieved such immediate popularity, being reprinted three times in its first two years, that it led him to work on a second. Gay completed this second collection of sixteen longer poems, just before his death in 1732, but it was not published till six years later, when his friend and literary executor, the Duke of Queensberry saw it through the press as Fables, By the late Mr Gay, Volume the Second, in September 1738. The two collections of fables were very different in tone. Where the first was playfully, even ironically, moral, the second was more indignantly satiric …

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Citation:
Gordon, Ian. "Fables". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 November 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5232, accessed 21 October 2014.]