The Rape of the Lock

By Alexander Pope

Synopsis

A hideous crime is committed at a fashionable London society gathering. The victim is the beautiful, innocent Belinda, her attacker is the dastardly Baron, and his weapon of choice is a pair of scissors...

Year of Publication

Review

Brilliant... triumphant. Never has so great a poem emerged from so trivial a cause -- Peter Ackroyd

Author Biography

Alexander Pope was born on 21 May 1688. He was brought up a Roman Catholic at a time where the laws of England were prejudicial towards Catholics. He suffered tuberculosis as a child and as a consequence never grew taller than 4'6". He first published The Rape of the Lock when he was twenty-three years old in 1712. Its success made him a celebrity in polite society. He later added to it in 1714 and 1717. It was written to reconcile two families who had fallen out over a similar incident where a Lord Petre had cut off a lock of hair from Arabella Fermor's head. Pope went on to translate the works of Homer and produce The Dunciad and An Essay on Man. He died on 30 May 1744.