John Gay Net Worth

John Gay was born on June 30, 1685 in Barnstaple, British, is Dramatist & Poet. John Gay, the English poet best remembered as the creator of the immortal fictional characters Captain Macheath and Polly Peachum, was a highly prolific and respected writer in the 18th century London. Though he produced a great many works of literature over his long and productive career, his ballad opera - ‘The Beggar’s Opera’ - is the best known of his works. The satirical play was first produced in London by the theatre manager John Rich and ran for 62 performances—the longest run for a play during those times. The play highlighted the moral degradation of the society in a lighthearted and humorous way, and parodied the King’s government. The fact that an abridged version of the opera is still performed in various theaters is testimony to its popularity. Political forces banned the production of its sequel, ‘Polly’ though there was a high demand for the printed version. As a young man Gay once worked as a secretary to the dramatist Aaron Hill who introduced him to the leading literary figures like Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and John Arbuthnot. Gay began his literary career as a poet; his first published work was the poem ‘Wine’. Even though his first play, ‘The Mohawks’ was never produced his future plays proved to be big success.
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Age, Biography and Wiki

Who is it? Dramatist & Poet
Birth Day June 30, 1685
Birth Place Barnstaple, British
Age 334 YEARS OLD
Died On 4 December 1732(1732-12-04) (aged 47)\nLondon, England
Birth Sign Cancer
Known for Poetry, drama, ballad opera
Notable work The Beggar's Opera
Patron(s) William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath; The third Earl of Burlington; Charles Douglas, 3rd Duke of Queensberry; Prince William, Duke of Cumberland

💰 Net worth: $1.9 Million

Some John Gay images

Biography/Timeline

1713

The dedication of his Rural Sports (1713) to Alexander Pope was the beginning of a lasting friendship. In 1714, Gay wrote The Shepherd's Week, a series of six pastorals drawn from English rustic life. Pope had urged him to undertake this task in order to ridicule the Arcadian pastorals of Ambrose Philips, who had been praised by a short-lived contemporary publication The Guardian, to the neglect of Pope's claims as the first pastoral Writer of the age and the true English Theocritus. Gay's pastorals achieved this goal and his ludicrous pictures of the English country lads and their loves were found to be entertaining on their own account.

1715

In 1715, probably with some help from Pope, he produced What d'ye call it?, a dramatic skit on contemporary tragedy, with special reference to Thomas Otway's Venice Preserv'd. It left the public so ignorant of its real meaning that Lewis Theobald and Benjamin Griffin published a Complete Key to what d'ye call it to explain it. In 1716 appeared his Trivia, or the Art of Walking the Streets of London, a poem in three books, for which he acknowledged having received several hints from Swift. It contains graphic and humorous descriptions of the London of that period. What is most interesting about the poem, however, is not the fact that it depicts the city with photographic accuracy, but that it acts as a guide to the upper, and upper-middle class walkers of society. In taking a mock-heroic form, Gay's poem was able to poke fun at the notion of complete reformation of street civility, while also proposing an idea of reform in terms of the attitude towards walking. In January 1717 he produced the comedy, Three Hours After Marriage, which was thought to be grossly indecent (without being amusing) and a failure. He had assistance from Pope and John Arbuthnot, but they allowed it to be assumed that Gay was the sole author.

1720

Gay had numerous patrons, and in 1720 he published Poems on Several Occasions by subscription, taking in £1000 or more. In that year James Craggs, the secretary of state, presented him with some South Sea stock. Gay, disregarding the advice of Pope and others of his friends, invested all his money in South Sea stock, and, holding on to the end of the South Sea Bubble, he lost everything. The shock is said to have made him dangerously ill. His friends did not fail him at this juncture. He had patrons in william Pulteney, afterwards Earl of Bath, in the third Earl of Burlington, who constantly entertained him at Chiswick or at Burlington House, and in the third Duke of Queensberry. He was a frequent visitor with Pope, and received unvarying kindness from william Congreve and John Arbuthnot. In 1727 he wrote for six-year-old Prince william, later the Duke of Cumberland, Fifty-one Fables in Verse, for which he naturally hoped to gain some preferment, although he has much to say in them of the servility of courtiers and the Vanity of court honours. He was offered the situation of gentleman-usher to the Princess Louisa, who was also still a child. He refused this offer, which all his friends seem to have regarded as an indignity. He had never rendered any special services to the court.

1728

He certainly did nothing to conciliate the favour of the government by his next work, The Beggar's Opera, a ballad opera produced on the 29 January 1728 by John Rich, in which Sir Robert Walpole was caricatured. This famous piece, which was said to have made "Rich gay and Gay rich", was an innovation in many respects. The satire of the play has a double allegory. The character of Peachum was inspired by the thief-taker Jonathan Wild, executed in 1725, and the principal figure of Macheath reflected memories of the French highwayman, Claude Duval, whose execution had created a sensation in London, and who exemplified the flamboyance and gallantry of Gay's literary hero. Gay's decision to launch the work was probably also influenced by the huge interest that Jack Sheppard, a cockney housebreaker, had created in all things relating to Newgate Prison. However, the character of Peachum was also understood to represent Robert Walpole, who, like Wild, was seen as a public but morally dubious character, and whose government had been tolerant of Wild's thievery and the South Sea directors' escape from punishment. Under cover of the thieves and highwaymen who figured in it was disguised a satire on society, for Gay made it plain that in describing the moral code of his characters he had in mind the corruptions of the governing class. Part of the success of The Beggar's Opera may have been due to the acting of Lavinia Fenton, afterwards Duchess of Bolton, in the part of Polly Peachum. The play ran for sixty-two nights. Swift is said to have suggested the subject, and Pope and Arbuthnot were constantly consulted while the work was in progress, but Gay must be regarded as the sole author. After seeing an early version of the work, Swift was optimistic of its commercial prospects but famously warned Gay to be cautious with his earnings: "I beg you will be thrifty and learn to value a shilling."

1732

He wrote a sequel, Polly, relating the adventures of Polly Peachum in the West Indies; its production was forbidden by the Lord Chamberlain, no doubt through the influence of Walpole. This act of "oppression" caused no loss to Gay. It proved an excellent advertisement for Polly, which was published by subscription in 1729, and brought its author several thousand pounds. The Duchess of Queensberry was dismissed from court for enlisting subscribers in the palace. The Duke of Queensberry gave Gay a home, and the Duchess continued her affectionate patronage until Gay's death in London on 4 December 1732. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. The epitaph on his tomb is by Pope, and is followed by Gay's own mocking couplet:

2017

Jake Arnott features John Gay heavily in his 2017 novel The Fatal Tree.