John Gay Bibliography

Wine 1708
A poem to celebrate the Act of Union between Scotland and England (1707).
The Present State of Wit 1711
The What D’Ye Call It 1715
A burlesque on what Gay thought to be the moral and emotional falsity of heroic tragedy, the play was attacked by Pope’s enemies, whom Gay befriended.
Trivia, or the Art of Walking the Streets of London 1716
Depicts conditions in London, now considered a minor classic.
Three Hours After Marriage 1717
Written in collaboration with Pope and Arbuthnot, a satire caricaturing a number of contemporary literay figures, including John Dennis, Colley Ciber and Anne Finch. The play was at first a success, but its production caused a furious row between Gay and Cibber, and it was not revived for another twenty years.
Poems On Several Occasions 1720
Fables 1727
Volume 2 was published in 1738. Before 1800 they went through over 100 editions and appeared in London, York, Edinburgh, Dublin, Newcastle, Paris and Philadelphia.
Begger’s Opera 1728
This ballard opera was an instant success. The piece was said to have made ‘Gay rich and Rich (the theatre manager) gay’. The so-called Newgate pastoral, with music by the German composer Pepusch, satirized the London underworld, amd corruption in general. It was also read as an attack on the ruling party of Sir Robert Walpole, who retaliated with the Licensing Act of 1737, restricting the activities of the theatre.
Polly 1729
Sequel to The Begger’s Opera, banned by the Lord Chamberlain, although it was available by subscription.