Alexander Pope's heroi-comical, mock-epic poem, The Rape of the Lock, continues to sparkle after three hundred years as a peerless gem in the canon of English literature. In celebration of its tercentenary, this collection brings together ten eminent scholars with new perspectives on the poem. Their approaches reflect the vast range of interpretation of Pope's text, from discussions of religion, gender, and eighteenth-century biological science to an interview with Sophie Gee about her novelization of the poem in The Scandal of the Season. These stimulating analyses will be essential reading for students and teachers of The Rape of the Lock and a valuable resource for investigating eighteenth-century culture.
Donald W. Nichol is a professor in the Department of English at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Preface Introduction: The Rape of the Lock After 300 Years (J. Paul Hunter) 1. Courtliness, Courtship, and Court Cards: Fractals as a Compositional Device in The Rape of the Lock (Pat Rogers) 2. Gallantry and The Rape of the Lock Reconsidered (Louise Curran) 3. Making the Perfect Woman: Female Automata from Pandora to Belinda (Glynis Ridley) 4. "Charms strike the Sight, but Merit wins the Soul": Female Spirituality and The Rape of the Lock (Katherine M. Quinsey) 5. Catholic Society and Commercial Idolatry in The Rape of the Lock (Nicholas Hudson) 6. "Hairs less in sight": Pope, Biology, and Culture (Raymond Stephanson) 7. Death and the Object: The Abuse of Things in The Rape of the Lock (Barbara M. Benedict) 8. It Narratives, Thing Theory, and "trivial Things": Sophie Gee's The Scandal of the Season and The Rape of the Lock (Kate Scarth) 9. Of Words and Things: Image, Page, Text, and The Rape of the Lock (Allison Muri) 10. From "Trivial Things" to "trivial things": Pope, Lintot, and The Rape of the Lock (Donald W. Nichol)