Finely bound example of the poetical works of Alexander Pope
The Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, Esq. Including his Translation of Homer: To Which is Added The Life of the Author, by Dr. Johnson.
Item Number: 101442
Philadelphia: J.J. Woodward, 1830.
Finely bound example of the works of Alexander Pope, including his important translation of Homer. Octavo, bound in full contemporary calf with gilt tooling and to the spine, black morocco spine label lettered in gilt, all edges marbled, marbled endpapers, engraved frontispiece portrait of Pope by J.B. Longmere with tissue guard, engraved vignette to the half-title page. In very good condition. Period ownership inscription. A desirable 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).