The Rape of the Lock

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London 1711: scandal erupted with the rape – ie theft, from the Latin ‘rapere’ – of a lock of hair from a society beauty. The victim was Arabella Fermor, the perpetrator her distant cousin Robert Petre, 7th Baron Petre. Feelings ran high, and in an attempt to smooth the waters Pope wrote this mock-heroic comical poem, which has become a classic of the satirical style. Whether successful in reconciling the aggrieved victim is not recorded, but certainly this poem has made the name Arabella Fermor forever famous.

Beautifully illustrated by Roland Pym (1910-2006). He completed this work in 1988, but this is the first time his drawings and watercolours for The Rape of the Lock have been published.

Slipcased hardback edition, 40pp. £28.