Item #308098 The Preface to Mr. Pope. Alexander POPE, Aaron Hill.
The Preface to Mr. Pope

The Preface to Mr. Pope.

[London: s.n, n.d., ca. 1718].

First separate edition. 2 pp. broadsheet. Folio (12 x 6 inches). Fine, with contemporary manuscript addition to title, explaining that the Preface is "To a poem called, The Northern Star, by Aaron Hill" Cf. Foxon H225 & Guerinot, p. 74 (for Hill's poem); not in ESTC. Item #308098

The first separate printing of Aaron Hill's Preface in reply to Alexander Pope's criticism of his Northern-Star, a poem published in 1718 and dedicated to Peter the Great of Russia. "Hill had, apparently through Lintot, asked Pope's opinion of The Northern Star. Lintot, according to Hill, reported to him that Pope though 'Printing any thing in Praise of the Czar of Russian wou'd be receiv'd as a Satyr on the Government'" (Guerinot). Hill questions Pope's criticisim and professes he would have preferred that the poem by critiqued on the merits of its style and execution, than to be faulted for insulting the government. He criticises Pope's Windsor Forest for its forced classicism and further lashes out at the popular poetic diction of his age, in which "… all our Women are Nymphs, Angels, or Goddesses; our Men, Demi-hero's; all our Soldiers are invincible; all our Generals beyond Caesar; all our Kings like Augustus …" The broadsheet is without imprint, but may have been printed by either Berington or Morphew, printers of The Northern-Star.
Hill and Pope clashed frequently, though they were not bitter enemies and did exchange letters. Later editions of Hill's poem excluded the Preface, presumably at the author's request. Rare, not in ESTC.

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