Robert Dodsley: Melpomene or The Regions of Terror and Pity An Ode

(1311 words)

Robert Dodsley arranged to have his poem, Melpomene: Or The Regions of Terror and Pity. An Ode published anonymously in September 1757. The title page of the sixteen-page pamphlet did not carry, as such pages normally did, the name of the author, publisher or printer, as Dodsley did not want the reading public to have any preconceptions concerning the quality of the poem based on knowledge, either of the author’s name, or of the poem’s provenance. He wanted his ode’s readers to consider it as a poem by an as-yet-unknown poet. In this he was largely successful, with Thomas Gray, the finest ode-writer of the mid-eighteenth century, writing to his friend William Mason at the end of September saying, “I have …

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Gordon, Ian. "Melpomene or The Regions of Terror and Pity An Ode". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 December 2005
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]