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Ambrose Philips

(1674—1749) poet and playwright


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(1674–1749),

poet, is remembered chiefly for his quarrel with Pope over the relative merits of their pastorals. Pope drew, in the Guardian (No. 40, 1713), ‘a comparison of Philips's performance with his own, in which, with an unexampled and unequalled artifice of irony…he gives the preference to Philips’ (Johnson, Lives of the English Poets). Philips's ‘Epistle to the Earl of Dorset’ (1709) memorably evokes the frozen landscape of Denmark. His infantile trochaics addressed to children earned him the nickname of ‘Namby Pamby’.

Subjects: Literature.


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