Dunciad Variorum & Essays

Dunciad Variorum & Essays


The Dunciad and Notes VariorumVariorum, Essay On Man & Essay on Criticism

By Alexander Pope

Printed In London For M. Cooper

The Volume is In Very Good Condition bound in blind paneled reverse calf, with the spine divided into six gilt-stamped compartments by five gilt & raised bands, with a brown morocco letter-piece in the second compartment, and with clasps. Externally one of the clasps is absent, with splits to the hinges and chipping t the head and tail of the spine, and with the board corners bumped. Internally the leaves are generally clean and amply margined, with some stain at the margins of certain leaves, with little in the way of foxing or toning otherwise.
The Volume is Complete in All Respects See below for pagination & dimensions.

Title - the Dunciad and Notes Variorum

Of The Dunciad

Though the Dunciad was first published anonymously in Dublin, its authorship was not in doubt. As well as Theobald, it pilloried a host of other “hacks”, “scribblers” and “dunces”. Mack called its publication “in many ways the greatest act of folly in Pope’s life”. Though a masterpiece, “it bore bitter fruit. It brought the poet in his own time the hostility of its victims and their sympathizers, who pursued him implacably from then on with a few damaging truths and a host of slanders and lies…”. The threats were physical too. According to his sister, Pope would never go for a walk without the company of his Great Dane, Bounce, and a pair of loaded pistols in his pocket. Together with John Gay’s ‘The Beggar’s Opera’ and Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ this first ‘Dunciad’ was part of a concerted propaganda assault against Walpole’s Whig ministry and the financial revolution it stabilised. Although he was a keen participant in the stock and money markets, Pope never missed an opportunity to satirise the personal, social and political effects of the new scheme of things. From ‘The Rape of the Lock’ onwards, these satirical themes are a constant in his work. In 1731, Pope published his “Epistle to Burlington”, on the subject of architecture, the first of four poems which would later be grouped under the title Moral Essays. In the epistle, Pope ridiculed the bad taste of the aristocrat “Timon”. Pope’s enemies claimed he was attacking the Duke of Chandos and his estate, Cannons. Though the charge was untrue, it did Pope a great deal of damage.

in this edition of Dunciad Variorum, Pope made some of the most drastic changes to the plot of the mock epic, lengthening the work, particularly in book IV. The most substantive change is the substitution of Theobald with Colley Cibber, changing the hero of the piece.

Pagination & Dimensions

The volume is paginated as follows: [vi], [1]-111, [v], [1]-60, [iv]-xxxvii, [38-39], 40-235, [xiii]. The volume collates as follows: [X], A-O4, [A]2, B-H4, I2, A6, A-2F4, 2G2, 2D4, 2E2. The volume measures about 24.5 cm. By 19.5 cm. By 4 cm. Each leaf measures about 240 mm. By 185 mm.

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