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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Some satirists acted as lone wolves, alienated outsiders, picking off their prey; many preferred to hunt in packs. This chapter will describe and analyse the activity of satirical clubs and groups in the period, attempting to understand the motives and impact of corporate acts of satire from the age of Dryden to that of the Scriblerians. The factious state of politics fostered the emergence of clubs of satirists; some used poetry as a way of conducting politics by other means. Few of these groups had a formal club constitution with rules of membership, and few lasted for long. Moreover, corporate satire took many forms: as well as joint authorship, it includes sociable forms such as the dialogue, variations on the list or litany, assemblies of texts circulated in manuscript, periodicals, and running battles in pamphlet form. Nonetheless, their influence on the forms and culture of satire has proved long-lasting.

Keywords: Court Wits, Scriblerus Club, coteries, sociability, collaboration, clubs, coffee-houses, essay periodicals, corporate author, contributory authorship

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