New Light on Pope: With Some Additions to His Poetry Hitherto Unknown

New Light on Pope: With Some Additions to His Poetry Hitherto Unknown

New Light on Pope: With Some Additions to His Poetry Hitherto Unknown

New Light on Pope: With Some Additions to His Poetry Hitherto Unknown

Excerpt

The present volume is the outcome of some twenty years' intermittent exploration of the by-ways of eighteenth-century literature, for the most part in an endeavour to track the footsteps of Pope, and his friends and enemies, hither and thither on their lawful--and unlawful--occasions.

The resultant 'discoveries'--a few of which have already been published in various periodicals--will be seen to affect in a greater or lesser degree many aspects of Pope's life, character, and works, hitherto regarded as established beyond question, and to necessitate, in consequence, a reconsideration of much current opinion. They may even add an impetus to the movement--long needed but now at last becoming perceptible-- towards a new appreciation of his poetry, which must inevitably follow a better understanding of the man behind the poet.

In addition to the 'new' poems here attributed to Pope, some of them now printed for the first time, the recovered material is of many kinds, textual as well as critical, bibliographical as well as biographical, the more important of which are enumerated, and their significance in Pope's life summarized, in the opening chapter. And if it cannot be pretended that this work has reached the ultimate truth on all the subjects discussed, on some at least it may justly be claimed to have travelled further from the accepted untruth than any previous inquiry.

A book of this kind could hardly have been begun, much less completed, without its author receiving more help and consideration than one has any right to expect. First I must gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness to the private, but public- spirited, owners of manuscripts and copyrights, who have most kindly allowed me to examine, transcribe, and print verse or prose from original autographs or texts in their possession; namely, His Grace the late Duke of Portland, and the late . . .

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