Critical Ideology: Pope's Epistle to Burlington

Robert W. Williams


Well, it had to happen - Pope has been 'recuperated' for the modern reader. The word is not mine but is taken from the most recent general survey of Pope's work, that of Brean S. Hammond in the Harvester 'New Readings' series. Pope, it seems, can be recuperated because he can be shown to have that indispensable requirement for some current criticism - an ideology:

... the character of Pope's ideology is that of a family-based, Christian aristocrat or landed gentleman, implacably opposed to the elite of, as he believed, corrupt financiers, bankers and brokers who governed the country. Pope himself did not experience his ideology as an ideology, however.

There is an irony in that last sentence which, I think, escapes the writer of it.

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