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The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer


Author: Alexander Pope

Publisher: Silas Andrus and Sons

Year Printed: 1848

Edition: First

Condition: Fine

eBook: Google eBook

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Pages: 970

Height: 6.5 inches

Width: 9.5 inches

Notes: This is The ILIAD AND THE ODYSSEY of HOMER translated by Alexander Pope. 

 SILAS ANDRUS and SON, 1848, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Connecticut

Published by Leavitt & Allen, New York

Edited by W. C. Armstrong


  • Hard backed and leather bound
  • 9 1/2" x 6 1/2" almost 2 1/2" thick 
  • Gold sided pages
  • A few pages have discoloration inside, might have been used to press flowers
  • Binding in great condition!
  • Book as been inscribed 1870 (see last photo)

Difficult collectible book to find ~ only to increase in value!

Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744) was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. Famous for his use of the heroic couplet, he is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson.



A likeness of Pope derived from a portrait by William Hoare[2]

[edit]Early life

Pope was born to Alexander Pope Senior (1646–1717), a linen merchant of Plough Court, Lombard Street, London, and his wife Edith (née Turner) (1643–1733), who were both Catholics.[3] Edith's sister Christiana was the wife of the famous miniature painter Samuel Cooper. Pope's education was affected by the recently enacted Test Acts, which upheld the status of the established Church of Englandand banned Catholics from teaching, attending a university, voting, or holding public office on pain of perpetual imprisonment. Pope was taught to read by his aunt, and went to Twyford School in about 1698/99.[3] He then went to two Catholic schools in London.[3] Such schools, while illegal, were tolerated in some areas.[4]

In 1700, his family moved to a small estate at Popeswood in Binfield, Berkshire, close to the royal Windsor Forest.[3] This was due to strong anti-Catholic sentiment and a statute preventing Catholics from living within 10 miles (16 km) of either London or Westminster.[5] Pope would later describe the countryside around the house in his poem Windsor Forest. Pope's formal education ended at this time, and from then on he mostly educated himself by reading the works of classical writers such as the satirists Horace and Juvenal, the epic poets Homer and Virgil, as well as English authors such as Geoffrey ChaucerWilliam Shakespeare and John Dryden.[3] He also studied many languages and read works by English, French, Italian, Latin, and Greek poets. After five years of study, Pope came into contact with figures from the London literary society such as William WycherleyWilliam CongreveSamuel GarthWilliam Trumbull, and William Walsh.[3][4]

At Binfield, he also began to make many important friends. One of them, John Caryll (the future dedicatee of The Rape of the Lock), was twenty years older than the poet and had made many acquaintances in the London literary world. He introduced the young Pope to the ageing playwright William Wycherley and to William Walsh, a minor poet, who helped Pope revise his first major work,The Pastorals. He also met the Blount sisters, Teresa and (his alleged future lover) Martha, both of whom would remain lifelong friends.[4]

From the age of 12, he suffered numerous health problems, such as Pott's disease (a form of tuberculosis that affects the bone), which deformed his body and stunted his growth, leaving him with a severe hunchback. His tuberculosis infection caused other health problems including respiratory difficulties, high fevers, inflamed eyes, and abdominal pain.[3] He grew to a height of only 1.37 m (4 ft 6 in) tall. Pope was already removed from society because he was Catholic; his poor health only alienated him further. Although he never married, he had many female friends to whom he wrote witty letters. Allegedly, his lifelong friend, Martha Blount, was his lover.[4][6][7][8]

[edit]Early career

Pope's house at Twickenham, showing the grotto. From a watercolour produced soon after his death.
Plaque above Pope's grotto at Twickenham

In May, 1709, Pope's Pastorals was published in the sixth part of Tonson's Poetical Miscellanies. This brought Pope instant fame, and was followed by An Essay on Criticism, published in May 1711, which was equally well received.

Around 1711, Pope made friends with Tory writers John GayJonathan SwiftThomas Parnell and John Arbuthnot, who together formed the satirical Scriblerus Club. The aim of the club was to satirise ignorance and pedantry in the form of the fictional scholar Martinus Scriblerus. He also made friends with Whig writers Joseph Addison and Richard Steele. In March 1713, Windsor Forest was published to great acclaim.[4]

During Pope's friendship with Joseph Addison, he contributed to Addison's play Cato, as well as writing for The Guardian and The Spectator. Around this time he began the work of translating the Iliad, which was a painstaking process – publication began in 1715 and did not end until 1720.[4]

In 1714, the political situation worsened with the death of Queen Anne and the disputed succession between the Hanoverians and the Jacobites, leading to the attempted Jacobite Rebellion of 1715. Though Pope as a Catholic might have been expected to have supported the Jacobites because of his religious and political affiliations, according to Maynard Mack, "where Pope himself stood on these matters can probably never be confidently known". These events led to an immediate downturn in the fortunes of the Tories, and Pope's friend, Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke, fled to France.

Pope lived in his parents' house in Mawson Row, Chiswick, between 1716 and 1719; the red brick building is now the Mawson Arms, commemorating him with a blue plaque.[9]

The money made from his translation of Homer allowed Pope to move to a villa at Twickenham in 1719, where he created his now famous grotto and gardens. Pope decorated the grotto with alabaster, marbles, and ores such as mundic and crystals. He also used Cornish diamonds, stalactites, spars, snakestones and spongestone. Here and there in the grotto he placed mirrors, expensive embellishments for the time. A camera obscura was installed to delight his visitors, of whom there were many. The serendipitous discovery of a spring during the subterranean retreat's excavations enabled it to be filled with the relaxing sound of trickling water, which would quietly echo around the chambers. Pope was said to have remarked that: "Were it to have nymphs as well – it would be complete in everything." Although the house and gardens have long since been demolished, much of this grotto still survives. The grotto now lies beneath Radnor House Independent Co-ed School, and is occasionally opened to the public.




On the tenth year of the Trojan War, tensions rise so high among Achaians. First, Chryses, a priest, asked King Agamemnon to release his daughter but the king refused. Chryses prayed to Apollo to send a plague to the Achaians. After nine days of plague, the Achaians demanded Agamemnon to release Chryses's daughter. He agreed with a condition that Achilleus, the greatest warrior of the Achaians will give him his girlfriend, Briseis. Though he was so mad, he just gave his girlfriend. He prayed to his mother Thetis, a goddess, to connive with the other gods so that the Achaians will lose their battles and they'll realize how much they depend on him. Thetis spoils Achilleus so she talked to Zeus. The next day, the Trojans counterattacked to the Achaians led by Hektor, their greatest warrior. After several days of violent battles, Patroklos, Achilleus's best friend asked permission to take the place of Achilleus. Achilleus agreed and even led Patroklos his armor. But Hektor, with the help of Apollo and Euphorbos, a minor Trojan warrior, killed Patroklos. When Achilleus knew this, he experienced terrible grief and swore revenge. He asked his mother to give him new suit of armor especially made by Hephaistos, the fire god. The next day, Achilleus joined the battle and killed many Trojan warriors including Hektor on a one-on-one battle 

But Achilleus isn't satisfied. For the next few days, he continually abused Hektor's body in brutal ways, even after Patroklos received a proper funeral. The gods didn't like this, and sent a message down to Achilleus telling him to give up the body. When the Trojan King Priam, Hektor's father, came unarmed, by night, to ask for his son's body, Achilleus agreed. They ate together and experienced a moment of shared humanity. Achilleus granted the Trojans a grace period to perform their funeral rituals. Then it ended with the funeral of Hektor - though we know that soon Achilleus will die. 


Odysseus battles internal and external conflict to take part in the Trojan War. It is at a time when his son Telemachus, is only a month old. Twenty years after the war, Odysseus retraces his steps back home. By that time, Telemachus is twenty and living with his mother Penelope in Ithaca. His mother has to deal with 108 suitors, who are boisterous and adamant that she should agree to marriage. 

Athena, Odysseus's guardian, decided with the King of Gods according to Greek mythology, Zeus, to take the form of Mentes, a Taphian chief and speak to Telemachus. She urged the boy to look for his father. Telemachus and Athena witness Phemius the bard entertaining the rowdy suitors with "Return from Troy". Even as Penelope objects, urged by Athena, Telemachus ordered Phemius to read on. 

Athena provided Telemachus a ship and crew and helped him to depart for the mainland. Welcomed by the Nestor family, Telemachus then embarked on a land journey alongside Sparta, Nestor's son. He chanced upon Helen and Menelaus bear witness of a meeting with sea-god Proteus. They informed Telemachus that his father has been captured by Calypso, a nymph. 

Odysseus, meanwhile, spent seven years in captivity. He is released only to incur the wrath of Poseidon, the sea god who was not present on Mount Olympus when Athena and Zeus interacted. Escaping the wreckage, Odysseus swam ashore exhausted and fell asleep. He then sought the hospitality of Arete and Alcinous. Odysseus struggled through a situation where his identity was always in doubt. 

A raid on his twelve ships by storms, lotus eaters and blinded with a wooden stake, left the hero a broken man. A boon from Aeolus, the wind god helped Odysseus harness all the winds. However, with destiny playing truant, Odysseus did not retain the only 'safe' wind that could blow him homeward. His escapades with the pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses, a treacherous sailor, Laestrygones the cannibal, Circe, the witch goddess and the spirit of Tiresias, left Odysseus spent and longing for home. 

Odysseus' lucky meeting with the Phaeacians, buys him a homebound journey. Disguised as a beggar, Odysseus learned about his family. He met Penelope with the intention of testing her love for him. Eurycleia, the housekeeper, discovered Odysseus' identity and all is well when he stringed his own bow as part of the suitor competition set by Penelope.