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Hudibras

Hudibras. Popular satire in mock-heroic style by Samuel Butler, in three parts (1662, 1663, 1677). Inspired by a west country knight (a parliamentary army colonel) and his clerk (an independent), with whom Butler had lodgings in Holborn, the two main protagonists are Hudibras, an Aristotelian knight whose intellectual accomplishments have no practical relevance, and Ralpho, his squire, proud of his ignorance and claiming to be divinely inspired. It delighted the royalists but was less an attack on the puritans than a criticism of antiquated thinking and contemporary morals, and a parody of old-fashioned literary form.

A. S. Hargreaves

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