During the 1780s, the satirical pamphlets of ‘Peter Pindar’, the pseudonym of John Wolcot (1738–1819), the doctor, clergyman and poet, simultaneously scandalised and delighted large sections of the English reading public. Wolcot was arguably the most notable oppositional satirist of the 1780s and the 1790s, and was certainly so after Ellis’s conversion to Toryism and Tickell’s suicide. In his gibes against Academicians, Poets Laureate and, most notably, the foibles of Court and the behaviour of King George III, Wolcot displays a raucously anti-establishment manner, though emphatically not a radical or Jacobin one (as the ‘Ode to Mr Paine Author of Rights of Man’ (1791) and the ‘Hymn to the Guillotine’ (1795) make clear). The underlying impulse of Wolcot’s poetry, according to W. L. Renwick, is parodie rather than satirically didactic: ‘analogous to parody rather than to criticism’. 1 Leaving aside the clumsy distinction between criticism and parody evident in his assertion, Renwick is right to stress the parodie aspect of Wolcot’s work. Most of his oeuvre employs burlesque models, most notably in an endless stream of mock odes, from Lyric Odes to the Royal Academicians (1782) and More Lyric Odes to the Royal Academicians (1783) to Odes to Ins and Outs (1802). Wolcot’s mock epic The Lousiad (1785) is a coarsely vigorous example of the form which is in places quite admirable (most notably in the various speeches of cook-major Dixon and his cohort of kitchen staff). However, Wolcot is at his best, and certainly at his funniest, in the 1786 mock eclogue Bozzy and Piozzi, or, the British Biographers, A Town Eclogue. 2 The poem envisages those indefatigable Johnsonians James Boswell and Hester Lynch Piozzi (formerly Mrs Thrale) competing for the ‘palm of anecdote’ before the musicologist, magistrate and executor of 12Johnson’s will, Sir John Hawkins (the same Hawkins who supposedly writes the ‘Preliminary Discourse’ to the Probationary Odes), with the winner to be awarded the right to ‘write Sam’s life’. In the end, Hawkins rebukes both candidates and, himself infected by ‘Johnso-mania,’ goes off to write his own life of the Doctor (Hawkins published The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Together with his Life, and Notes on his Lives of the Poets in eleven volumes between 1787–9). Here, as in The Lousiad, the self-constructed persona of ‘Peter’ is not overwhelming matters and Wolcot makes great sport with the insatiable appetite amongst Johnsonians for biographical minutiae, no matter how paltry they might be.