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The Rape of the Lock (Wildside Classic)

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1557429162
ISBN-10: 1557429162
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brilliant . . . triumphant. Never has so great a poem emerged from so trivial a cause."  —Peter Ackroyd
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Only rarely in publishing history has the ideal edition of a literary work been created, where text, typography, and illustrations complement one another perfectly. Among the few examples are the Kelmscott Chaucer, Baskerville's Milton, and Beardsley's Salome. Another such book is the 1896 edition of Pope's The Rape of the Lock, illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley.
Beardsley's elaborate drawings for The Rape of the Lock were created during the last phase of his brief career. This nearly Romantic period, characterized by rich, brilliantly imagined decoration and ornamentation and by high textual contrasts, was perfectly suited to the blend of mock-heroic, satire, and delicate fancy of Pope's poems. As Beardsley's biographer R. A. Walker wrote, "These drawings show a verve, a wit and appreciation of the poem than can scarcely be matched in English literature." Using his unique line and "black blot" technique, Beardsley created a masterpiece of design and mood.
This Dover edition reproduces the first edition: the complete text of the five-canto poem, notes, seven full-page drawings, two half-page drawings, and the original cover design by Beardsley. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Wildside Classic
  • Paperback: 54 pages
  • Publisher: Wildside Press (February 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557429162
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557429162
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,123,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By bixodoido on August 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
This poem serves two purposes. First, Pope wrote it in response to an upper-class quarrel over an event at a party in which a young girl had her hair cut. The incident itself was petty and stupid, but the families of the parties involved were taking it very seriously. Pope, then, wrote this poem in epic form (the most grand of poetic forms) to show the absurdity of the matter, and thus reconcile the offender and offended.
That is the first function of this poem. Even though the incident is long forgotten, the poem is still very funny. But there is a greater purpose to this poem--it was written like an epic. It contains several epic elements--an epic battle (at the card game), the invocation of muses and gods, the epic quest (to cut the hair), and several literary devices, such as epic-length similes and catalogs. This is what makes this poem so great, and what serves as a testimony to Pope's remarkable genius for wit and satire.
Pope was, in my opinion, one of the greatest English poets, certainly the greatest satirist. This is one of his greatest works, and it is short enough to read over and over again without investing too much time.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kate Gombrich on July 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a highly intelligent book on one of the finest poems by the eighteenth century's most celebrated poet. Brilliantly written with wit, style, and a flair for interesting detail, Wall's book includes textual information and a wealth of carefully selected secondary material that makes this "one-stop shopping" for anyone interested in the work or indeed in the period. Because of its combination of lively writing and scholarly erudition, I would recommend Wall's book for a wide variety of interest and knowledge levels. Wonderful Bedford series idea and terrific book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "jcbondservant" on June 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
This review should be taken seriously considering I didn't really like "The Rape of the Lock" and still give this book 5 stars!
"History is not a vacuum," one of my university history professors always told us. Neither is literature for that matter! This book examines the mock-epic poem "Rape of the Lock" in its social, literary, and historical contexts. The poem takes up a small portion of the book, and the rest is made up of diary entries, letters, essays, newspapers, etc. that help to explain the culture surrounding Pope. The city of London, clothes, card games, coffee, makeup, social norms, and countless other things are discussed in very readable and enjoyable ways in order to make "The Rape of the Lock" truly come alive.
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By M. N. on March 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
My version of the poem had a great introduction which explained what inspired the poem, which was a huge bonus for me! Alexander Pope's poem however was easy enough for me to understand, which I greatly appreciate. I particularly loved the description of the women being dressed at the end of the first canto. There was something so profound in the statement that the women take praise for looking good when it isn't them that look good - it was those that dressed them. Granted, I suspect that most women don't have someone dressing them these days; however, today women are so covered in makeup, and with the prevalence of plastic surgery and botox, I'm not sure that we really are making ourselves look good anymore, it's something else.

Regardless, the poem was actually quite wonderful. Funny, quirky, and clever - overall I loved it! It amused me how he instilled this sense of impending doom and horror into a comedic poem about a woman's hair being cut off as a prank at a party. Knowing the back-story was tremendously helpful in this regard, it I had not known that it was written in response to a prank played at a party, I would have greatly misunderstood the poem.
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By TexasBoy on July 13, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book with nice illustrations! English Lit requirement and worth the money!
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