Elaborately bound example of Alexander Pope's Translation of Homer's Odyssey
Homer. Translated by Alexander Pope.
Item Number: 88013
London: Nathaniel Cooke, 1854.
Elaborately bound edition of Homer’s Odyssey translated by Alexander Pope. Inscribed on the front free endpaper to Andrew Pope, “Andrew Pope, with the best wishes of Philip Edwards Lee On his leaving Eton Election 1863.” Octavo, bound in full brown morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised tooled bands, front and rear panels elaborately blind stamped, all edges elaborately gilt and intricately carved, marbled endpapers, ribbon bound in, engraved frontispiece of a Greek vase bearing a painting of Ulysses and the Harpies with tissue guard present, engraved profile portrait of Homer to the title page. In fine condition. A unique example.
Encouraged by Swift, Addison and Steele, among others, Pope began translating Homer in 1713. The arduous undertaking would prove to be the most laborious literary enterprise of his life, but one to which he was well-suited. "Idolatry of classical models was an essential part of the religion of men of letters of the day But a Homer in modern English was still wanting. Pope’s rising fame and his familiarity with the literary and social leaders made him the man for the opportunity The ‘Homer’ was long regarded as a masterpiece, and for a century was the source from which clever schoolboys like Byron learnt that Homer was not a mere instrument of torture invented by their masters. No translation of profane literature has ever occupied such a position" (DNB).