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258 STANLEY E. READ vitiated by the critical conclusions, conclusions which create difficulties not so much because they may be unjustified as because they masquerade as objective reporting of facts. The majority of the book consists of admirable scholarship and ingenious interpretation. It is a work of genius which seems to me to be sometimes over-ingenious. Caveat lector. (G.E. BENTLEY, JR) NOTES 1 Martin ButHn's catalogue raisonne of Blake's art, now in the press, will join this constellation when it appears. 2 Except, of course, for the separately issued (and textless) colourprints such as 'Newton' and 'Hecate.' 3 Works by William Blake (1876) gives only seven of Blake's works and omits scores of plates, including all Milton and Jerusalem . THE 'RAPE' OBSERV'D Professor Clarence Tracy, an accomplished scholar, moves easily through the highways and byways of the eighteenth century. And in this new printing of Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock he has made a delightful contribution to a richer understanding of the most brilliant example of the mock·heroic poem in the annals of English literature. First published in 1712 in two cantos, the poem was greatl}!.enlarged by Pope to five cantos in 1714, and then brought to its final form in The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems, published in 1717. The best modem edition of the Rape is the Twickenham, edited by Geoffrey Tillotson (1940), and Professor Tracy uses this text for his own publication, though he does not retain the bulk of its valuable footnotes, some by Pope himself. He largely supplies his own. What justifies this new printing of a poem already easily available to any interested reader? The answer is found in Dr Tracy's opening words of his preface: 'The purpose of this new edition of the Rape of the Lock is to draw the attention of the modem reader to the visual element in the poem, which the mere lapse of time has tended to obscure for him.' Starting his project some years ago as a 'holiday pastime.' he soon became seriously involved and eventually collected 'as many pictures as I could find of the people, places, and things mentioned and alluded to in the poem: Here are no fanciful interpretations by a modem illustrator of Belinda's world, but all the pictures are 'genuine ones of objects like those that Pope himself saw.' In the end, with bountiful aid from libraries and muse~ms in England and North America, he had gathered together some sixty-five to seventy pictures well suited to his purpose-pictures of barges, sedan chairs and coaches, balls and masquerades, shop cards, flounces and furbelows, diamond earrings, a petticoat, a chocolate mill, an Indian screen, a·Oarence Tracy, The 'Rape' Observ'd. Toronto: University of Toronto Press 1974. Pp. xvi, 102. $12.50 THE'RAPE'OBSERV'O 259 snuffbox and patch box, a clouded cane, a coffee pot, and a bodkin, a Birth-night Beau, playing cards such as used in the game of Ombre, general views of the Mall, Rosamonda's Lake, and Hampton Court, a map of the Thames as it sweeps from the City up to Hampton, and portraits ofArabella Fermor and Queen Anne. In addition he has written a short but a scholarly introduction, has added his own footnotes, most of which relate the illustrations to specific passages in the text, and two valuable appendices, one on the game of Ombre, and one on the geographical background of the poem. The serious student of Pope will still have to return to the Twickenham edition for more complete information and he should also approach some of Dr Tracy's comments with caution. A few examples will suffice. In the first footnote to the text - the dedication to Mrs Arabella Fermor - the good Doctor says that Pope addresses her as Mrs 'not because she was married but because at that time only little girls and prostitutes were addressed as "Miss," all respectable women being entitled to "Mrs".'This is wide open to question. Addison in the Spectator has a Miss Jenny and a Miss Kitty, respectable young women; Miss Bridget Allworthy, indiscreet perhaps but no prostitute...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 258-259
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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