Alexander Pope: Dunciad (1729)
First published anonymously, Pope’s Dunciad took satire to a heightened level. Here his target was not just political but cultural: what Pope saw as the gradual descent of all arts and letters into ‘Dullness’ due to the increasing prevalence of hired authors. In addition to all "hacks", "scribblers" and "dunces" Pope’s principal target is Lewis Theobald who in 1728 had published a Shakespeare edition intended to put right errors ‘committed’ and ‘unamended’ by Pope in his own Shakespeare edition of 1725. The deep hostility aroused amongst his victims reputedly caused Pope to fear for his personal safety to the extent that he would not leave home without his dog and pistols in his pocket.
Pope (Alexander) The Dunciad, with Notes Variorum. 8vo. London, 1729
Former owner: David Hughes (1727-77)