General Editors: Jim McLaverty, Michael Suarez, Valerie Rumbold, Marcus Walsh, Henry Woudhuysen
The Oxford Edition of the Writings of Alexander Pope, commissioned in 2017, will draw together all of Pope’s work for the first time since the nineteenth century: poems, prose, and correspondence. The new edition will reflect the rapid development of Pope scholarship in the last fifty years and respond to his continuing central place in literary studies.
The last complete edition of Pope’s works completed its publication in 1889, and the last full edition of the poems in 1969. The new edition of the poetry, while owing a debt to the mid-twentieth-century Twickenham edition, will incorporate modern scholarship and ground its text in recent editorial theory in order to present for the first time texts that respect Pope’s own delight in book-making, with a commentary reflecting new biographical, book-historical, social, and political understandings of the poet in his times.
Pope was also a major writer of prose: the orchestrator of ferocious print controversies, he exerted, through the publication of his own letters, a significant influence on his century’s epistolary modes. The new edition of the prose and correspondence will revisit questions of attribution, and draw on recent scholarship that illuminates the diverse social circles in which he moved. George Sherburn’s 1956 edition of Pope’s correspondence is one of the great achievements of modern scholarly editing, but the new edition, as well as benefiting from half-a-century’s advances in editorial theory and practice relating to letters, will also incorporate a significant number of additional letters not available to Sherburn.
Each of the planned 24 volumes of The Oxford Edition of the Writings of Alexander Pope has its own specialist team of editors.