John Gay: The Fan

(1798 words)

Gay's mock epic poem, The Fan, was first published on 8 December 1713. Gay probably obtained the idea for the form and subject matter from his friend Pope, whose mock epic poem, The Rape of the Locke, had first been published a year and a half earlier on 20 May 1712, while his short poem “On a Fan”, printed in The Spectator on 4 November 1712, suggested the subject for Gay's mock epic elaboration. Pope clearly helped Gay with The Fan, writing to him in August 1713 offering encouraging words, but typically urging him to revise it further: “I am glad your Fan is mounted so soon, but would have you varnish and glaze it at …

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Gordon, Ian. "The Fan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 April 2004
[, accessed 07 July 2015.]