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Jessie Pope (1868–1941)

Author of Punch and Judy

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Jessie Pope was born in Leicester and educated at North London Collegiate School for Girls. She began her literary career writing humorous verses for Punch and contributed more than 170 pieces between 1902 and 1922. She also contributed to The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, Vanity Fair, and Pall Mall Magazine. Her earliest books were collections of poems that had first appeared in these periodicals: Paper Pellets (1906) and Airy Nothings (1909). Her place in history rests mainly on the patriotic verses she wrote glorifying combat during World War I. They were collected into volumes including Jessie Pope’s War Poems (1915), More War Poems (1915), and Simply Rhymes for Stirring Times (1916). Critics vilified these works as jingoistic doggerel. After the war, Jessie Pope published a novel, Love on Leave (1919) and books for children including the illustrated Animal Fun and Frolic (1930). She was responsible for discovery of the manuscript of Robert Tressell's novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, which was kept by his daughter after his death. Pope was commissioned by the publisher to abridge it before its publication in 1914.
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