Scriblerus Club

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The Scriblerus Club was an informal group of friends that included Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, John Gay, John Arbuthnot, Henry St. John and Thomas Parnell. The group was founded in 1714 and lasted until the death of the founders, starting in 1732 and ending in 1745, with Pope and Swift being the culturally most prominent authors. Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Mortimer occasionally joined the club for meetings, though he is not known to have contributed to any of their literary work. The club began as a project of satirizing the abuses of learning wherever they might be found, which led to The Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus. The second edition of Pope's The Dunciad also contains work attributed to Martinus Scriblerus.

Richard Owen Cambridge wrote a mock epic poem, the Scribleriad, where the hero is Martinus Scriblerus.

Henry Fielding's play, The Welsh Opera is presented as a tribute to the "Scriblerians". Fielding's pen name was "Scriblerus Secundus."

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  • BBC audio file. In our time Radio 4 discussion programme on the Scriblerus Club. 45 minutes.