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Selected Poetry of Robert Dodsley (1703-1764)


from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

The Laws of true Politeness stated,
And what Good-breeding is, debated:
Where all unanimously exclude
The vain Coquet, the formal Prude,
The Ceremonious, and the Rude.
The flattering, fawning, praising Train;
The fluttering, empty, noisy, vain;
Detraction, Smut, and what's prophane.
        (The Footman: An Epistle to my Friend Mr. Wright, 56-63)
  1. The Footman: An Epistle to my Friend Mr. Wright
  2. Song (Man's a poor deluded bubble)


Notes on Life and Works

Robert Dodsley wrote both Servitude (1729) and The Muse in Livery (1732) while working for the Hon. Mrs. Lowther. Later he devised several plays, The Toyshop (1735), The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (1741), and Cleone (1758). His chief fame comes from publishing and selling, at his shop the Tully's Head in Pall Mall, literature by Mark Akenside, Thomas Gray, Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson, Alexander Pope, Edward Young, and others. Dodsley's A Collection of Poems, by Several Hands, which came out from 1748 to 1758, helped define the period's taste. Towards the end of his life, Dodsley co-founded The Annual Register with Edmund Burke.

Biographical information

Given name: Robert
Family name: Dodsley
Birth date: 1703
Death date: 23 September 1764
Pseudonym: Nathan Ben Saddi
Nationality: English
Family relations
          father: Robert Dodsley
          brother: Alvory Dodsley
          brother: Isaac Dodsley
          brother: James Dodsley
Language: English
Literary period: Augustan
Occupations
          Footman
          Bookseller: 1735
Residence: Mansfield: 1703
Cause of death: Gout
Buried at: Abbey churchyard, Durham
First RPO edition: 2000