The Iliad of Homer, by HOMER.COWPER, William (1731-1800), translator.

COWPER, William (1731-1800), translator.

The Iliad of Homer, Translated into English Blank Verse by the late William Cowper, Esq. The Second Edition, with copious alterations and notes, prepared for the press by the translator, and now published with a preface by his kinsman, J. Johnson, LLB, Chaplain to the Bishop of Peterborough. Vol. I [-II]. London, J. Johnson, 1802.

Second Edition. Two volumes in one, 8vo (210 x 120 mm), pp. [iv], [ix]-xlvi, [ii], 406, [1]; [ii], 462, in slightly later half calf over marbled boards, spine ruled and lettered in gilt, binding covered in acetate.

The second edition of Cowper’s acclaimed translation of Homer, first published by Johnson in a quarto edition in 1791. Cowper had so disliked Pope’s translation that he had struggled with perfecting his own over a period of six years, chosing blank verse as the most likely vehicle to bring out the sense while remaining faithful to the original Greek. ‘Cowper has infused much more of the simple majesty and manner of the divine bard than Pope’ (Lowndes, 1100).

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