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The Rape Of The Lock
     

The Rape Of The Lock

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by Alexander Pope, Thomas Marc Parrott (Editor)
 

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Perhaps no other great poet in English Literature has been so differently judged at different times as Alexander Pope. Accepted almost on his first appearance as one of the leading poets of the day, he rapidly became recognized as the foremost man of letters of his age. He held this position throughout his life, and for over half a century after his death his works

Overview

Perhaps no other great poet in English Literature has been so differently judged at different times as Alexander Pope. Accepted almost on his first appearance as one of the leading poets of the day, he rapidly became recognized as the foremost man of letters of his age. He held this position throughout his life, and for over half a century after his death his works were considered not only as masterpieces, but as the finest models of poetry. With the change of poetic temper that occurred at the beginning of the nineteenth century Pope's fame was overshadowed. The romantic poets and critics even raised the question whether Pope was a poet at all. And as his poetical fame diminished, the harsh judgments of his personal character increased. It is almost incredible with what exulting bitterness critics and editors of Pope have tracked out and exposed his petty intrigues, exaggerated his delinquencies, misrepresented his actions, attempted in short to blast his character as a man.
Both as a man and as a poet Pope is sadly in need of a defender to-day. And a defense is by no means impossible. The depreciation of Pope's poetry springs, in the main, from an attempt to measure it by other standards than those which he and his age recognized. The attacks upon his character are due, in large measure, to a misunderstanding of the spirit of the times in which he lived and to a forgetfulness of the special circumstances of his own life. Tried in a fair court by impartial judges Pope as a poet would be awarded a place, if not among the noblest singers, at least high among poets of the second order. And the flaws of character which even his warmest apologist must admit would on the one hand be explained, if not excused, by circumstances, and on the other more than counterbalanced by the existence of noble qualities to which his assailants seem to have been quite blind.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Reprints the text of Pope's classic poem, both the five-canto 1714 version and the facsimile of the original 1712 version, together with a broad selection of documents putting the poem in the social and historical context of Pope's 18th century. Selections include correspondence, poems, broadsides, reviews, and parodies. Documents focus on Pope's life and career as well as on 18th-century poetic traditions and innovations, social habits, historical events, and political implications. Includes a general introduction on historical and cultural background, a chronology of Pope's life, an introduction to each thematic group of documents, headnotes, and b&w illustrations. Distributed by St. Martin's Press. No index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781557429162
Publisher:
Wildside Press
Publication date:
05/02/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
56
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.13(d)

Meet the Author

Alexander Pope (1688–1744) is widely regarded as the greatest English poet of the early 18th century, best known for his satirical verse. His other works include The Dunciad (1728) and An Essay on Man (1734). Aubrey Beardsley is a noted illustrator. Sophie Gee is the author of The Scandal of the Season.

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