Johnson’s early writings in London indicate considerable dismay with the corruption and disorder of the capital. Th e experiment had also failed to secure him a steady income and evidently placed a strain on his marriage. In August 1739 he left for the Midlands without Tetty to apply personally for the position of master in Appleby, about a dozen miles from Lichfi eld, and would not return until the following spring. He had nonetheless impressed some important people. Alexander Pope had been so struck by ‘London’ that, unknown to Johnson, he wrote to the dominant politician in Staff ordshire, the Tory Lord Gower, asking him to support Johnson’s application to Appleby School. Additionally encouraged by Johnson’s very high reputation for scholarship in the area, Gower wrote to a friend of Jonathan Swift wondering if the Dean of St Patrick’s would arrange for an honorary MA from Trinity College.1 When nothing came of this application, Johnson returned to London to fi nd Edward Cave eager to give him advanced responsibilities at the Gentleman’s Magazine.