John Gay: Polly: An Opera. Being the Second Part of The Beggar's Opera (1524 words)


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Gay wrote Polly in the second half of 1728, as a sequel to his hit success, The Beggar's Opera [see separate entry], which had broken all theatrical box-office records in London by running for sixty-two consecutive performances earlier in the year. He built Polly around the sentimental heroine of The Beggar's Opera, Polly Peachum, who had become the toast of the town, depicting her further adventures in the West Indies. The Beggar's Opera, however, had been too much of a political cause célèbre for government comfort, and, although Sir Robert Walpole, the Prime Minister, at whom much of the satire had been aimed, had succeeded in laughing off most of the jibes against him, he was, nevertheless,…

Citation: Gordon, Ian. "Polly: An Opera. Being the Second Part of The Beggar's Opera". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 February 2004 [, accessed 19 September 2020.]

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