Mandeville, Pope, and Apocalypse

In Joaquim Braga & Edmundo Balsemão Pires (eds.), Bernard de Mandeville's Tropology of Paradoxes. Springer Verlag. pp. 79-90 (1st ed. 2015)

Authors
Peter Knox-Shaw
University of Cape Town
Abstract
Some years before the Scriblerians brought a comic realism to bear on the themes of prophecy and apocalypse, Mandeville gave millenarians a taste of their own medicine by showing – in the conclusion to The Grumbling Hive – that a land free of the offences decried by the pious would indeed prove to be ruinous. In so doing he inaugurated a tradition of secularised apocalypse that finds one of its most famous expressions in the Dunciad. Both Pope and Mandeville make use of the millenarian motifs of Elkanah Settle’s pageants for Lord Mayor’s day, and though the Williamite politics of The Fable of the Bees was deeply inimical to the Tory wits (as appears in the satires of the Scriblerians), time has exposed a paradoxical congruence between Pope and Mandeville that underlies their official enmity.
Keywords Apocalypse, secularisation, Lord Mayor's Day, Reform societies, cultural decline, post-modernism
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