6 June 1715-May 1720
Even before the publication of the first four books of Pope's translation, interest was excited by the threat from a rival translation by Thomas Tickell. The three first items (Nos 25-7) represent this hectic pre-publication interest. Since the Iliad is one of Pope's most important contemporary achievements, a wide sampling of the critical response from 1715 to 1728 is given here. Further, see Introduction pp. 12-13.
Richard Fiddes, extract from A Prefatory Epistle Concerning some Remarks to be published on Homer'sIliad: Occasioned by the Proposals of Mr. Pope…(1714), pp. 9-10. The pamphlet is dedicated to Swift.
The Iliad had been announced in October 1713. Fiddes (1671-1725), who had written some 'Cursory Observations' on the Iliad, was prompted by Pope's proposals to put them together as a promissory prolegomena in the hopes of attracting patronage.
The Author of the Essay on Criticism, who has a Wit capable of every thing, but what relates to the Controversy betwixt us and the Church of Rome, will, it is hop'd, with a fine Version of the Iliad, oblige the World with just Remarks upon it. As he has confessedly the most sprightly and easy Muse, except perhaps one Person you will not give me leave to Name [i.e. Swift], he will now have a noble Occasion of trying her Strength. And there will be a great disappointment of the general Expectation, if he do not at once enrich the Language wherein he writes, and reduce it, which seems very much wanting, still nearer to a Standard.