The Works of Alexander Pope Esq. in Nine Volumes Complete

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by Alexander Pope

The Works of Alexander Pope

Title page from The Works of Alexander Pope, volume one, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Alexander Pope
Editor William Warburton
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London: Printed for J. and P. Knapton {etc.}
Date 1751
Edition {{{edition}}}
Language English
Volumes 9 volume set
Pages {{{pages}}}
Desc. 8vo (22 cm.)
Location Shelf M-4
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744) was a poet famous for his moral satires and mock epics, as well as his use of the heroic couplet.[1] Pope's professional opportunities were limited because of his Catholic faith and poor health throughout his life.[2]

Frontispiece, volume one.

Pope began his foray into pastoral poetry with his first major poem, Pastorals (1705). He explored the intellectual and emotional reach of poetry within formal composition rules, satirizing the poet's dedication to these rules in his famous poem An Essay on Criticism (1711). In 1712 Pope started to write mock epic poetry with the Rape of the Lock, which he followed with a famous verse translation of Homer's Iliad, which took six years to complete.

During the 1720s, Pope published multiple versions of a mock heroic the Dunciads, cementing his reputation as a satirist.[3] However, his poem An Essay on Man (1734-35) marked a move away from satire back to the poetic essay.[4] He continued to write poetic epistles, as well as the Books of Horace, until his death in 1744.[5]

The Works of Alexander Pope Esq. In Nine Volumes Complete was published in 1751, and became the primary edition of Pope’s works.[6]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Bookplate of Charles and Mary Lacaita, front pastedown, volume five.

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Pope's works. 9.v. 8vo. and given by Thomas Jefferson to his daughter Martha. The precise edition of the set owned by Wythe is unknown. George Wythe's Library[7] on LibraryThing indicates as much, adding "Numerous nine-volume editions in octavo were published, the first at London in 1751." The Brown Bibliography[8] lists the first edition (1750-1751) published in London, and this was the edition purchased by the Wolf Law Library.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in nineteenth century hard-grained morocco, spines and edges gilt, with silk markers in each volume. Ownership inscription in each volume of J. Barnard; bookplates of Charles and Mary Lacaita on each front pastedown. Purchased from Christopher Edwards.

Frontispiece, volume two.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

See also


  1. Howard Erskine-Hill, "Pope, Alexander (1688–1744)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004), accessed October 3, 2013.
  2. "Alexander Pope (1688-1744)," Luminarium, excerpted from Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Ed., XXII (Cambridge University Press, 1910), 87.
  3. Maynard Mack and Duncan Robinson, "The World of Alexander Pope," The Yale University Library Gazette, 62, nos. 3/4 (Yale University, 1988), 108.
  4. Ibid, 111.
  5. Ibid, 117-120.
  6. Ibid, 135.
  7. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on November 18, 2013,
  8. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:

External Links

Read volume one of this book in Google Books.
Read volume two of this book in Google Books.