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


is mounted so soon, but would have you varnish and glaze it at your leisure, and polish the sticks as much as you can.”

Gay takes an everyday accessory of high society dress, the currently fashionable lady's fan, and describes

1798 words

Citation: Gordon, Ian. "The Fan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 April 2004 [, accessed 21 May 2024.]

890 The Fan 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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