This essay examines three satirical works from the most productive decade of Edward (Ned) Ward's long writing career: The London Spy (1698-1700), The London Terraefilius, or, The Satyrical Reformer (1707-08), and The Secret History of Clubs (1709). All three of these colorful London pieces show Ward's wit and blunt humor to good advantage, even as they reveal the breadth of his social vision and sympathies. Taken together, they also display the dynamic evolution of his attempts to combine satire with other forms of literary entertainment, as he moved from satiric travelogue to dramatically imagined satiric characters and then to more socially and thematically complex satiric ensembles. Unfortunately for Ward, the rise of Swift and Pope too soon eclipsed his considerable aptitude for satire.
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Peter M. Briggs; Satiric Strategy in Ned Ward's London Writings. Eighteenth-Century Life 1 April 2011; 35 (2): 76–101. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00982601-1214063
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