For the Serious Reader


Cast Iron "British Poets" Bookends by Bradley & Hubbard (LEO Design)

If there's a reader in your life—a real, serious bookworm—perhaps this pair of "British Poets" bookends will fit the bill.  They were made in the Thirties by Bradley & Hubbard (Meriden, Connecticut).  They celebrate two English writers of note, Alexander Pope and Edward Young.  Both men were influential in their time.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) had a difficult early life.  As a Catholic, he was not allowed to go to school due to the English "Test Acts" which banned Catholics from teaching, attending college, holding public office or going to Catholic grade school.  Little Alexander was homeschooled, for a time, and he later attended an illegal "underground" school.  When a law was passed disallowing Catholics from living within 10 miles of London, his family moved to the country and the young man's formal education came to an end.  On his own, he studied Homer, Virgil, Chaucer, Shakespeare and other works in French, Italian, Latin and Greek.  Alexander Pope is best known for his translation of Homer and (after William Shakespeare) he is the second most-quoted writer in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

Edward Young (1683-1765) was a poet, dramatist, literary critic and took holy orders at the age of 47.  He is best known for his "long poem" called Night-Thoughts, published in nine parts (1742-1745).  The work was an extremely popular (though rambling) contemplation of death and bereavement.  It was illustrated with etchings by the Romantic artist William Blake (who was unappreciated in his day, only to become legendary a century later).  Young's quote, shown above, is from Part V of Night-Thoughts.

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