Alexander Pope, An Epistle to a Lady

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Of The Characters of Women: An Epistle To A Lady

, to give the poem its full title, was the last of the four ethic epistles Pope wrote, though he gave it second place when he collected his “Epistles to Several Persons” together in his

Works

, Vol. II, published on 23 April 1735.

An Epistle To A Lady

had first been published as a separate poem two and a half months earlier, on 8 February 1735, a year after

An Epistle To Cobham

, to which it was intended as a companion piece. If

An Epistle To Cobham

focuses primarily on the characters of men, although it includes two cutting satiric vignettes of women,

An Epistle To A Lady

focuses exclusively on the characters of women. Although the target of the satire appears at first to be aristocratic and wealthy women, the venom that Pope expends upon…

2143 words

Citation: Gordon, Ian. "An Epistle to a Lady". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2002 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6702, accessed 26 May 2024.]

6702 An Epistle to a Lady 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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