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Swift and Pope were lifelong friends and fellow satirists with shared literary sensibilities. But there were significant differences - demographic, psychological, and literary - between them: an Anglican and a Roman Catholic, an Irishman and an Englishman, one deeply committed to politically engaged poetry, and the other reluctant to engage in partisanship and inclined to distinguish poetry from politics. Dustin Griffin argues that we need to pay more attention to those differences, which both authors recognised and discussed. Their letters, poems, and satires can be read as stages in an ongoing conversation or satiric dialogue: each often wrote for the other, sometimes addressing him directly, sometimes emulating or imitating. In some sense, each was constantly replying to the other. From their lifelong dialogue emerges not only the extraordinary affection and admiration they felt for each other, but also the occasional irritation and resentment that kept them both together and apart.
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