It is still true that most readers of eighteenth-century poetry approach it by way of nineteenth-century poetry; they know what Wordsworth said about Pope before they read Pope. This means that when they read Pope and other eighteenth-century poets, they apply the wrong criteria. An eighteenth-century poet did not have to create the taste by which he was enjoyed to the same extent as a nineteenth-century poet was conscious of having to. The kinds were ready waiting for him, and, if the rules of poetic diction for the kinds of which he elected to write were properly complied with, the products were recognisable: epic, tragedy in verse, Pindaric, elegy, heroic and familiar epistle, pastoral, georgic, occasional verse, translation and imitation. This book, a collection of essays by Dr Tillotson, examines these types of eighteenth-century poetry with particular focus on poetic diction, as well as discussing works such as Pope's letters and Johnson's dictionary.
Abbreviations I Augustan Poetic Diction: I II Augustan Poetic Diction: II III More about Poetic Diction IV The Manner of Proceeding in Certain Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Poems V The 'Minor Poems' in the 'Twickenham' Pope VI Pope's Letters in Professor Sherburn's Edition VII Pope's 'Epistle to Harley': an Introduction and Analysis VIII 'Grongar Hill': an Introduction and Texts IX Gray's 'Ode on the Spring' X Gray's 'Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes' XI Johnson's Dictionary XII Rasselas XIII Time in Rasselas Index