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Synopsis

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) was the greatest English poet of his age, whose acerbic insights into human nature have entered the language, and whose verse still astonishes with its energy and inventiveness centuries after his death. This new selection of Pope's work follows the path of his poetic genius over his lifetime. It contains early poems including the masterly mock-epic 'The Rape of the Lock', which satirizes a notorious society scandal through glorious heroic couplets, the brilliantly aphoristic 'An Essay on Criticism' and excerpts from his translation of the Iliad. Later poems represented include Pope's ironic adaptations of Horace's Epistles, Satires and Odes, and the remarkable 'Dunciad', a stinging attack on his literary rivals and the mediocrity of Grub Street hacks. Here too are selected prose works and letters from Pope to his contemporaries such as John Gay and Jonathan Swift.

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