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  • Readers and writers today can't, of course, share Pope's certainties of taste. But we can apply some of his principles, the most important of which is, perhaps, that principles are necessary.

    Carol Rumens, Guardian
  • For us, satire is merely being rude about people, in the manner of Private Eye or Spitting Image. For Pope, satire meant not only denigrating some values, but suggesting what other values might stand in their place: George II is an idiot, but a good monarch would support the arts and literature as the emperor Augustus did. The key to Pope's art is the ideal of balance, and it is a mistake to isolate one moment without seeing how he brings a counter-element into play.... On a larger scale, Pope often uses an alternative way of thinking to create what later thinkers would call an epiphany.

    Philip Hensher

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