Charlotte Brewer, Hertford College, Oxford
H. R. Woudhuysen, University College London
Daniel Karlin, University of Sheffield
"The Dunciad in Four Books" of 1743 was the culmination of the series of "Dunciads" which Alexander Pope produced over the last decade and a half of his life. It comprises not only a poem, but also a mass of authorial annotation and appendices, and this authoritative edition is the only one available which gives all the verse and the prose in a clearly laid-out form, with a full modern commentary. Accessibly presented on the same page as Pope's text are explanatory notes, written in a style adapted to the needs of undergraduate readers, but still comprehensive enough to address the interests of scholars. The many books and pamphlets to which Pope refers have been examined in detail, and the commentary takes advantage of the fifty years' scholarship on literary, bibliographical, cultural and political aspects of the period which has accumulated since James Sutherland's "The Dunciad," volume five of the Twickenham Edition. A substantial introduction offers a stimulating and helpful approach to the work, and the bibliography includes extensive suggestions for further reading.
Valerie Rumbold is a Reader in English at the University of Birmingham. She has published a range of articles on Pope and on eighteenth-century women writers and is a member of the editorial team on the five volume "The Poems of Alexander Pope" in the Longman Annotated English Poets series. Her book "Women's Place in Pope's World" (1989) was awarded the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize by the British Academy.