‘This long disease, my life’

A deep dive into the archives of Alexander Pope
by
August 2021, no. 434
Buy this book

Alexander Pope in the Making by Joseph Hone

Oxford University Press, £60 hb, 234 pp

‘This long disease, my life’

A deep dive into the archives of Alexander Pope
by
August 2021, no. 434
A portrait of Alexander Pope (Wikimedia Commons)
A portrait of Alexander Pope (Wikimedia Commons)

If you are looking for the perfect command of voice, Alexander Pope is your poet. It is not just desiccated eighteenth-century rationalists who say this, my Keats-scholar friend Will Christie thinks so too. This is despite the fact that there is zero negative capability in Pope, ‘when man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason’. His ironies are precise riddles to be sprung, his judgements instant aphorisms. Pope writes exactly what he means, and it lands exactly on target.

Robert Phiddian reviews 'Alexander Pope in the Making' by Joseph Hone

Alexander Pope in the Making

by Joseph Hone

Oxford University Press, £60 hb, 234 pp

Buy this book

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