Time was, ere these degenerate days


Donald and Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson, 2003 – *2003J-EC316

Books and the Man I sing, the first who brings
The Smithfield Muses to the Ear of Kings.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744). The Dunciad (London, 1728).

Pope’s satiric masterpiece underwent three major revisions in his lifetime. Its original hero (and Pope’s critical adversary) Lewis Theobald was replaced in the final edition by the minor dramatist and poet laureate Colley Cibber. This copy has been extensively annotated by the critic Edmond Malone and includes the transcribed annotations of Pope’s friend and editor Jonathan Richardson; the book passed to the writer and critic J. W. Croker before coming into the possession of Sir John Murray IV, the grandson of Byron’s publisher.