First published in 1972, this is the first detailed study of the milieu of the eighteenth-century literary hack and its significance in Augustan literature. Although the modern term ‘Grub Street’ has declined into vague metaphor, for the Augustan satirists it embodied not only an actual place but an emphatic lifestyle. Pat Rogers shows that the major satirists – Pope, Swift and Fielding – built a potent fiction surrounding the real circumstances in which the scribblers lived, and the importance of this aspect of their writing. The author first locates the original Grub Street, in what is now the Barbican, and then presents a detailed topographical tour of the surrounding area. With detailed studies of a number of key authors, as well as the modern and metaphorical development of the term ‘Grub Street’, this book offers comprehensive insight into the nature of Augustan literature and the social conditions and concerns that inspired it.
Table of Contents
Illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Introduction: The Topography of Dulness; 1. The Suburban Muse 2. The Plagues of Dulness 3. The Criteria of Duncehood 4. Swift and the Scribbler 5. Life Studies 6. The Grub Street Myth; Appendix A: Evidence from the Rate-Books; Appendix B: The Trades of Grub Street; Appendix C: A Grub Street Ode; Index