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Joseph Spence

(1699—1768) literary scholar and anecdotist


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(1699–1768),

clergyman, anecdotist, scholar, succeeded T. Warton as professor of poetry at Oxford in 1728. He was a close friend of Pope, and from 1726 collected anecdotes and recorded conversations with Pope and other literary figures. These, although not published until 1820, were well known and widely quoted during the 18th cent., and were made available to and used by Warburton and Dr Johnson. They are usually referred to under the title Spence's Anecdotes.

Subjects: literature.


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