John Gay

1685 (Barnstaple, England) – 1732 (London)

Gay’s good friend Swift suggested the idea for ‘The Beggar’s Opera’. Pope was the dedicatee of his first published work, and became a lifelong friend. Both Pope and Arbuthnot collaborated with him: Pope, Swift, Arbuthnot and Gay were mainstays of the ‘Scriblerus Club’. Congreve was unfailingly kind to him, while Montagu collaborated on some pieces with him and Pope that are mostly credited to her alone. He had studied with Handel, and was the principal librettist for ‘Acis and Galatea’ (Pope also contributing). Voltaire met him during his two years’ exile in England, and attended his ‘The Beggar’s Opera.’