Fun Facts Friday: Alexander Pope

May 21, 2021

Alexander Pope (21 May, 1688 – 30 May, 1744) was a poet and satirist, considered to be one of the best English poets of the early 18th century. Pope is best known for his poems The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism.

Fun Facts Friday: Alexander Pope
Books by or about Alexander Pope*

Fun Facts about Alexander Pope:

  1.  Alexander Pope is the second-most quoted author in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after William Shakespeare.
  2. Mr. Pope’s nickname was “the Wasp of Twickenham” because of his stinging attacks on famous people of the time. The Dunciad, for example, makes fun of anyone on the wrong side of Mr. Pope.
  3. Born in London, Mr. Pope was Catholic from birth to death. At the time, however, the Church of England banned all Catholics from studying, or teaching, in the university (not to mention voting, or holding public office).
  4. According to Dr. Samuel Johnson, who was an avid tea drinker, Mr. Pope inhaled steam of coffee to cure his headaches. Mr. Pope referred to coffee as “Mocha’s happy tree”.
  5. Alexander Pope suffered from bad health throughout his life. Mr. Pope had a form of tuberculosis which affects the spine (Pott disease) which stunted his growth, developing a curvature of the spine (hunchback). Among other ailments he suffered were high fevers, difficulty in breathing, and eye inflammation. His ill health, along with his Catholic beliefs, made it difficult for him to integrate in English society.
  6. For a certain time Mr. Pope got world that the son of critic and dramatist John Dennis wanted to attack him. Not the one to be threatened by such “villains”, Mr. Pope kept his schedule but carried a gun, and accompanied with a Great Dane.
  7. Three of the moons of Uranus are named after characters from Alexander Pope’s poem The Rape of the Lock. The moons are named Belinda, herione of the poem, Umbriel and Arial, the two Sylphs. all 27 known moons of Uranus are named after literary characters. Once again, however, Shakespeare won -the 24 other moons are named for his characters.
  8. Mr Pope is known for taking a long time to finish his work. An Essay on Criticism, for example took three years to finish.
  9. The Scriblerus Club, formed by Pope, Jonathan Swift, Thomas Parnell, and John Arbuthnot was formed in 1711 to satire ignorance and pedantry. The fictional scholar Martinus Scriblerus was given credit.
  10. Alexander Pope is buried at Church of Saint Mary the Virgin at Twickenham, next to his beloved mother. There are rumors that his skull was dug up, which led to the superstition of the church being haunted.

Books by or about Alexander Pope*

Zohar – Man of la Book
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Fun Facts Friday: Alexander Pope
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Fun Facts Friday: Alexander Pope
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Alexander Pope (21 May, 1688 – 30 May, 1744) was a poet and satirist, considered to be one of the best English poets of the early 18th century. Pope is best known for his poems The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism.
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