John Arbuthnot

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John Arbuthnot
BirthplaceKincardineshire, Scotland
physician, satirist, polymath

Arbuthnot, John

(ärbŭth`nət, är`bəthnŏt), 1667–1735, Scottish author and scientist, court physician (1705–14) to Queen Anne. He is best remembered for his five "John Bull" pamphlets (1712), political satires on the Whig war policy, which introduced the character John Bull, the typical Englishman. With his friends, Swift, Pope, and Gay, Arbuthnot was a member of the Scriblerus ClubScriblerus Club,
English literary group formed about 1713 to satirize "all the false tastes in learning." Among its chief members were Arbuthnot, Gay, Thomas Parnell, Pope, and Swift. Meetings of the club were discontinued after 1714.
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, organized to ridicule false tastes in learning, and was the principal author of the "Memoirs of … Martinus Scriblerus," first published in the quarto edition of Pope's works (1741). He was also the author of several progressive medical works. Greatly admired in his time, Arbuthnot was called an unusual genius by Samuel Johnson, and Pope addressed to him the famous "Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot."


See edition of his works by G. A. Aitken (1892); study by L. M. Beattie (1935).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Beattie, John Arbuthnot: Mathematician and Satirist (Cambridge, 1935), 92-105; Herbert M.
Aitken, The Life and Works of John Arbuthnot (Oxford, 1892) 45; Beattie, John Arbuthnot: Mathematician and Satirist, 58-65; Robert C.
(24) Bower and Erickson, eds., John Arbuthnot, 9 (emphasis in original).
(2) George Atkin, The Life and Works of John Arbuthnot (Oxford: Clarendon Press) 1892, Lester, M.
John Arbuthnot, The History of John Bull (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967) 9.
John Arbuthnot, John Gay, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and Thomas Parnell, They created the persona of a dull modern scholar, Martinus Scriblerus, to whom they attributed various dull and absurd works of literary scholarship and criticism.
John Arbuthnot (famous as the creator of 'John Bull') even drew up a mock prospectus for a book in which he promised to unveil the Art of Political Lying, depicting politics as 'an elaborate and endless glass-bead game of lies'.
This distorts her response to Phoebe Clinket, the poetess portrayed in Three Hours after Marriage (1717), by Alexander Pope, John Gay, and John Arbuthnot. The Confederates ridicules Three Hours; its dedication assails Clinket with a tiresome display of gratuitous obscenity utterly foreign to the authors' concept, and apparently aimed more at the actress than the character.