John Gay, Mr. Pope’s Welcome from Greece

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John Gay’s greeting to his friend Alexander Pope was not published until 1776. However, its composition dates from around the time that Pope completed his ‘six years toil’ on Homer (3). This was when the two final volumes of his translation of the


appeared in May 1720, although internal clues suggest there may be a hidden reference to the departure of George I for Hanover in the following month. Manuscripts, some in Gay’s hand, survive in the British Library.

One holograph draft preserves in its title an important basis for the work: ‘Alexander Pope his safe return from Troy; a Congratulatory Poem on the compleating of Homer’s Ilias, in the manner of the beginning of the last Canto of Ariosto.’ This refers to Orlando Furioso (1516–32), the great Italian epic by

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Citation: Rogers, Pat. "Mr. Pope’s Welcome from Greece". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 October 2020 [, accessed 17 April 2024.]

39354 Mr. Pope’s Welcome from Greece 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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