Diverting History of John Gilpin

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A poem by Cowper, first published anonymously in The Public Advertiser, reprinted in chapbook form, and included in the same volume as The Task (1785).

John Gilpin, a ‘linen‐draper bold’ of Cheapside, and his wife decide to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary by a trip to the Bell at Edmonton, he on a borrowed horse, she, her sister, and the children in a chaise and pair. But John loses control of his horse, and the poem describes his headlong career to Edmonton, ten miles beyond it to Ware, and then back again.

Subjects: Literature.

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