The Dunciad is Pope's most ambitious and seriously compelling poem. The final version, The Dunciad in Four Books, had a long gestation, appearing in four different versions over a fifteen-year period between 1728 and 1743, so that we can equally well refer to the Dunciads, as The Dunciad. The different versions of The Dunciad produced by Pope are as follows:
1. May 1728, The Dunciad: An Heroic Poem, in three books, with Lewis Theobald, referred to as “Tibbald” in the poem, as hero.
2. April 1729, The Dunciad Variorum, an expanded version of the first Dunciad, with the mock-critical apparatus of “The Publisher's Advertisement”, “A Letter to the …
Citation: Gordon, Ian. "Dunciad". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5479, accessed 21 June 2021.]