A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Dodsley, Robert

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Dodsley, Robert (1703-1764). — Poet, dramatist, and bookseller, b. near Mansfield, and apprenticed to a stocking-weaver, but not liking this employment, he ran away and became a footman. While thus engaged he produced The Muse in Livery (1732). This was followed by The Toy Shop, a drama, which brought him under the notice of Pope, who befriended him, and assisted him in starting business as a bookseller. In this he became eminently successful, and acted as publisher for Pope, Johnson, and Akenside. He projected and pub. The Annual Register, and made a collection of Old English Plays, also of Poems by Several Hands in 6 vols. In addition to the original works above mentioned he wrote various plays and poems, including The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (1741), and Cleone (1758)