"Bloomsbury Poetry Classics" are selections from the work of some of our greatest poets. The series is aimed at the general reader rather than the specialist and carries no critical or explanatory apparatus. This can be found elsewhere. In the series the poems introduce themselves, on an uncluttered page and in a format that is both attractive and convenient. The selections have been made by the distinguished poet, critic and biographer Ian Hamilton. Alexander Pope was born in 1688, the son of a Roman Catholic draper. A childhood illness left him deformed and sickly, and, according to his enemies, permanently soured in outlook. Pope was a cruelly brilliant satirist and a tireless warrior in the great bookworld combats of his day. His mastery of the heroic couplet was polished to perfection in pastorals, mock-epics and translations as well as in long ruminative works, like "Essay on Criticism" and "Essay on Man". Pope's fiercest energies, however, were reserved for his long work, "The Dunciad", in which he savaged and immortalized his literary enemies. Pope died in 1744.