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Scriblerus

By Alexander Pope

ISBN: 9781847491060

128 pages

Paperback

RRP: £7.99 £6.39

Alexander Pope was, at one time, the world’s most celebrated poet. His trenchant satirical works – in which the foibles of all the critics, hacks and bad poets of his day are exploded – and his masterful heroi-comic poem The Rape of the Lock continue to inspire generations of writers and readers to this day. Alongside his more prominent poetical production, Pope engaged with some of the sharpest wits of his era – including Jonathan Swift and John Gay, the author of The Beggar’s Opera – in writing a number of satirical prose works, of which Scriblerus is perhaps the greatest achievement.

As he prepares to become father for the first time, the scholar Cornelius is determined to settle on nothing less than a child of the “learned sex” – a boy – and give him the most thorough education so that he can become the greatest critic who ever lived. An account of the birth, the infancy, the schooling, the diet-planning, the unconventional love affairs and the attainments of this child prodigy, The Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus is surely the funniest imaginary biography ever written.

REVIEWS

  • You can almost taste the Swiftian tang in its bitterer moments. This is great satire, not simply the working out of a private joke among a powerful literary clique. Its subject is that old favourite, the perfectibility of mankind: an old favourite because it’s the most comically useless of all enterprises. And this is why it’s still fresh and worth reading today.

    Nicholas Lezard
    Guardian

Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) was the pre-eminent poet of his day, and is most famous for his mock-heroic poem The Rape of the Lock. With John Gay, Jonathan Swift and John Arbuthnot, he formed the Scriblerus Club.

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