April 16th

Alexander Pope’s edition of Shakespeare’s works preceded Theobald’s by some years, and it, too, was propped up by studious research on the part of its editor. Fresh off his translation efforts of The Odyssey and The Iliad, Pope gladly accepted the commission to put out a new edition of Shakespeare’s works, pouring over close to every edition of the plays that had been printed before the 1623 First Folio.

The thoroughness of those efforts, though, induced even in Pope its fair share of anxiety, prompting him to lament at one point that, “It is impossible to repair the Injuries already done him, too much time has elaps’d and the materials are too few.”

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