Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Alexander Pope was born on May 21, 1688. His father, Alexander Pope, was a linen merchant married to his second wife and Pope’s mother, Edith Turner Pope.

As a child Alexander had many troubles. He survived being trampled on by a cow and also struggled with Potts’ Disease, tuberculosis of the spine (which deformed and stunted his growth. He never grew beyond 4ft. 6in. tall and suffered from crippling headaches throughout his life.

After King James II was abdicated, Protestant William and Mary became the royal leaders of Britain outlawing openly practicing Catholic religeon and barring Catholics from living within ten miles of London. Pope was educated mostly at home, partly due to laws upholding the Church of England. He began writing at the age of twelve.

His first publication, An Essay on Criticism came in 1711, when he was 23. Alexander Pope wrote many popular poems in his life. From 1715 to 1720, he worked on translating Homer’s lliad. Then along with William Broome and Elijah Fenton, Pope translated Odyssey between 1725 and 1726. With that, Pope became the first English poet to ever live off the sales of his works alone.

Pope brought out an edition of Shakespeare, which “regularized” his meter and verse in several places. This led other scholars to attack Pope’s edition only encouraging him further to write moral and satiric poems. Pope’s other major contributions were Moral Essays (1731-1735), Imitations of Horace (1733-1738), Epistle to Arbuthnot (1735) and Essay on Man (1734). Alexander Pope died on May 30, 1744.

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

“A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday. ”

“An honest man’s the noblest work of God. ”

“Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed was the ninth beatitude. ”

“Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in the night. God said, Let Newton be! and all was light! ”

“Order is heaven’s first law. ”

“Satan is wiser now than before, and tempts by making rich instead of poor. ”

“The greatest magnifying glasses in the world are a man’s own eyes when they look upon his own person. ”

“To err is human; to forgive, divine. “

Share