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Pope Alexander The Works of Alexander Pope

SKU: Pope, Alexander AB0605061 $169.00
The Works of Alexander Pope, Esquire in twelve volumes complete of which this is volume IV only (Errata: the spine and title page denote this as vol. VII. However, the aContentsa aHalf Titlea& aEpistle to Robert, Earl of Oxfordadenote vol. IV. Additionally, there are errors in the atable of contentsa printed for A. Millar et al., London in 1764. Engraved frontispiece verso page 3. Contents: [Imitations of Horace, pgs. 3-21], [Epistles, pgs. 25-49], [Epitaphs, pgs. 50-60] & [Memoirs of the Extraordinary Life, Works, and Discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus, pgs. 63-158]. 158 off-white to toned pages without tear or loss. There is foxing on the pastedowns and end sheets with random minor spotting throughout not affecting text. In addition there is edge-wear and minor chipping on some page edges. Text is complete. There is a period bookplate on the front pastedown. Red Moroccan full leather boards with decorative gild triple rule borders front and back. Six compartment spine with raised bands and gilt embellishments including vol. #. Front hinge is cracked and spine is split. Binding is still tight. Corners bumped and worn. Shelf-wear at head and foot of spine. Marbled pastedowns and endpapers. Marbled edges around. Notation on front, end sheet in ink which is very toned with edge loss. This volume is a candidate for recovering. Volume measures: 11 cm. x 17.5 cm. (18mo). Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744) was an English Poet, Satirist, Translator, Editor, Literary Critic and Landscape Architect active professionally from 1709 - 1744 in England, Britain and Europe. He was born in Plough Court, off Lombard Street in the heart of the City of London on May 21, 1688. He was the only child of elderly, well-off Roman Catholic parents (his mother was 45 when he was born) to whom he remained closely devoted throughout his life. His father had been a successful linen merchant for almost 20 years prior to his son's birth, but was forced to retire in 1688, owing to the anti-Catholic laws passed after the arrival of William III. In the same year an Act of Parliament came into force prohibiting Catholics from living within ten miles of the City of London. Although the family went on living in Lombard Street for another five years, continuing anti-Catholic legislation, given renewed prominence from royal proclamations in 1696, 1715 and 1744 was one of the major factors determining the course of the future poet's life. In 1693 the family left Lombard Street for nearby Hammersmith, then a village in west London, and lived there for seven years until, in 1700 Pope's father purchased Whitehill House, together with nineteen acres of land in Windsor Forest at Binfield in Berkshire. Hammersmith was not far enough out if the City of London legally to satisfy the anti-Catholic laws, but it was far enough out to indicate the right intention. Young Alexander's education during these years was mostly in the hands of priests who particularly instructed him in Latin and Greek. He did spend a short period at Twyford School, near Winchester, one of the best schools available for Catholic boys at the time, but he only stayed there for a year before being expelled for writing a lampoon on one of the masters - an omen, perhaps of things to come. In the five years between February 1733 and March 1738 Pope published eleven poems that he directly described as Imitations of Horace. In a sense, of course, he had imitated Horace all of his life - the four Ethic Epistles ("Moral Essays"), An Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot and the Epilogue to the Satires: Dialogues I & II were all deeply influenced by the Roman poet's example. Pope's admiration for Horace was explicit in as early a work as An Essay on Criticism in 1711. Pope told his friend Joseph Spence that he took to writing his Imitations of Horace after Lord Bolingbroke came to see him once when he was ill (1733) and, happening to pick up a Horace that lay on the table, observed "how well that would hit my case, if I were to imitate it in English." The imitation as a form in English literature grew out of the great interest and activity in verse translation tended toward a fairly close adherence to the original, but during the second half of the century verse translators increasingly took more freedom with their models. It became more important for a translator to catch the spirit of a work than to give a word for word rendition. The point was to stress the contemporary relevance of established and accepted truths and to make the author being imitated speak as if he were living and writing in the present. (Excerpted from The Literary Encyclopedia, citation by I.R.F. Gordon on the "Imitations of Horace." Please visit The Literary Encyclopedia for the complete text).