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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Satiric poetry between 1660 and 1800 comprises a vast and miscellaneous body, and satiric practice changes drastically across this period. The relevant material does not reduce to a single mode perfected by a few great writers or to an evolutionary trajectory. Instead we see several discrete sub-periods, each with distinctive features. Carolean satire is personal, abusive, serious; later seventeenth-century satire is generalized, bland, toothless; dominant modes of the first quarter of the eighteenth century do not continue into the second; verse satire in the wake of Pope’s death tends to be emphatically poeticized in a way not common before the mid-century; and at the end of this period verse satire again reflects political urgency. The transformations in satiric practice across this period are indisputable, and their causes are due less to the influence of particular poets than to ever-changing extra-literary circumstances.

Keywords: poetry, genre, satire, politics, verse satire

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