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After five years of study, Pope came into contact with figures from the London literary society such as William Wycherley, William Congreve, Samuel Garth, William Trumbull, and William Walsh. One of them, John Caryll (the future dedicatee of The Rape of the Lock), was twenty years older than the poet and had made many acquaintances in the London literary world.

Some were so virulent, that Pope even carried pistols at one point while walking his dog. He toyed with the idea of writing a patriotic epic called Brutus but ultimately decided against it, and only the opening lines survive.

By now Pope's health was failing, and when told by his physician, on the morning of his death, that he was better, Pope replied: "Here am I, dying of a hundred good symptoms".

Alexander Pope was born in London, May 21st, 1688—the year of The Glorious Revolution.

After Shakespeare, Pope is the second most quoted writer in the English language, as per The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, with some of his verses having even become popular idioms in common parlance (e.g., Damning with faint praise). Pope's poetic career testifies to his indomitable spirit in the face of disadvantages, of health and of circumstance.

As the poet and his family were Catholics, they fell subject to prohibitive measures which effectively reversed the prosperity of their ilk after the abdication of James II; one of which banned them from living within ten miles of London and another from attending public school or university.


For this reason, except for a few spurious Catholic schools, Pope was largely self-educated.

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