Bibliography (Magill Book Reviews)
Cutting-Gray, Joanne, and James E. Swearingen. “System, the Divided Mind, and the Essay on Man.” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 32, no. 3 (Summer, 1992): 479-494. Considers the poem from philosophical and religious viewpoints, questioning whether Pope was merely compiling accepted truths or undermining the system that the poem claims to support.
Mack, Maynard. Alexander Pope: A Life. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1985. Definitive biography of Pope, written by a great scholar. References to the poem appear throughout the book, but the major commentary is in chapter 21.
Nuttall, A. D. Pope’s Essay on Man. Winchester, Mass.: Allen & Unwin, 1984. Addresses the poem as the major philosophical statement in eighteenth century English. Views the poem as including religious issues. Section on public and critical reaction to the poem.
Piper, William Bowman. “Pope’s Vindication.” Philological Quarterly 67, no. 3 (Summer, 1988): 303-321. Confronts questions related to the poem’s religious issues by comparing it to John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Although traditional readings have disregarded this comparison, Piper asserts that Pope is more persuasive concerning the reality of God than Milton is.
Pope, Alexander. An Essay on Man. Edited by Maynard Mack. London: Methuen, 1964. Contains a detailed introduction that analyzes the...
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