Alexander Pope, The Poetry Of (Audiobook)
- +

Read by Richard Mitchley, Ghizela Rowe & Gideon Wagner (Unabridged: 1hr 8mins)

Alexander Pope was born on May 21st, 1688 into a Catholic family in London.

His education was affected by the then recent Test Acts, which upheld the status of the Church of England and banned Catholics from teaching.  In effect this meant his formal education was over by the age of 12 but Pope was to immerse himself in classical literature and languages and too, in effect, educate himself. 

From this age too he also suffered from numerous health problems including Pott’s disease, a type of tuberculosis, which resulted in a stunted, deformed body.  Only to grow to a height of 4’ 6”, with a severe hunchback and complicated further by respiratory difficulties, high fevers, inflamed eyes and abdominal pain all of which served to further isolate him, initially, from society.

However his talent was evident to all. Best known for his satirical verse, his translations of Homer and the use of the heroic couplet, he is the second-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare.

With the publication of Pastorals in 1709 followed by An Essay on Criticism in 1711 and his most famous work The Rape of the Lock in 1712, Pope became not only famous but wealthy.

His translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey further enhanced both reputation and purse.  His engagement to produce an opulent new edition of Shakespeare met with a mixed reception. Pope attempted to "regularise" Shakespeare's metre and rewrote some of his verse and cut 1500 lines, that Pope considered to be beneath the Bard’s standard, to mere footnotes.

Alexander Pope died on May 30th, 1744 at his villa at Twickenham (where he created his famous grotto and gardens) and was buried in the nave of the nearby Church of England Church - St Mary the Virgin.

Over the years and centuries since his death Pope’s work has been in and out of favour but with this distance he is now truly recognised as one of England’s greatest poets.


In this compilation - 

01 - Alexander Pope - An Introduction
02 - from The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope
03 - In Imitation of Chaucer by Alexander Pope
04 - In Imitation of Spenser by Alexander Pope
05 - In Imitation of Doctor Swift by Alexander Pope
06 - In Imitation of Cowley by Alexander Pope
07 - An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope
08 - Universal Prayer by Alexander Pope
09 - Ode on St Cecilia's Day by Alexander Pope
10 - Weeping by Alexander Pope
11 - Solitude by Alexander Pope
12 - On a Certain Lady at Court by Alexander Pope
13 - Farewell to London in the Year 1715 by Alexander Pope
14 - Summer by Alexander Pope
15 - Lines Written in Windsor Forest by Alexander Pope
16 - Elegy to the Memory of An Unfortunate Lady by Alexander Pope
17 - The Dying Christian To His Soul by Alexander Pope
18 - On Colley Cibber by Alexander Pope
19 - The Dunciad. An Extract of Book I by Alexander Pope