An essay on man : autograph manuscript of the first draft of the poem, undated [1730-1731].

Record ID: 
127753
Accession number: 
MA 348
Author: 
Pope, Alexander, 1688-1744.
Credit: 
Epistles I-III: Acquired by Pierpont Morgan before1907.
Description: 
1 item (40 p. in 4 pamphlets), unbound ; size varies
Notes: 

Each epistle with wrappers of blue blotting paper. The front wrapper for Epistle III is labeled "Epist. 3d / N 1 & 2 / Learn Dulnes Learn! &c.;" the front wrapper for Epistle IV is labeled "Epis 1st of Man [in the Abstract] with respect to the Universal System." Additionally, Epistle I is preceded by an otherwise blank page with a note in Pope's hand reading: "Eipst. I of Man [in ye abstract] with respect to the universal System;" Epistle II by a page labeled "No. 2 / Learn we ourselves &c.;" Epistle III by a page labeled "1 / Learn Dulnes learn! &c.;" Epistle IV by a page labeled "No 1 / Popes Hymn to God &c & Epistle 4th."
Written on sheets of paper ranging from 18-31 cm. See Mack for a full bibliographical description.
Dating: Previously cataloged as "finished in 1733," however Maynard Mack notes that the Morgan manuscript predates the Harvard manuscript, which was made in 1730-1731. A letter dated 2 August 1731 from Bolingbroke to Swift notes that three epistles have been finished and that Pope is working on the fourth.
Epistles I-III were in the possession of the Chauncey heirs in the 1860s when Rev. Whitwell Elwin consulted them for his Works of Pope.
High reserve.

Summary: 

An early draft of the poem, consisting of Epistle I (11 p.), Epistle II (6 p.), Epistle III (15 p.), Epistle IV (8 p.), with extensive revisions and corrections by the author throughout.

Housed in: 
Blue cloth drop-spine box (34 cm)
Provenance: 
Epistles I-III: Presented by Pope to Jonathan Richardson (1694-1771); Dr. Charles Chauncey, and by descent in his family until at least 1860; General William Nassau Lees; his sale (Christie's, 30 July 1889, lot 79), to a "Mr. Hervey"; acquired by Pierpont Morgan before 1907. Epistle IV: Purchased by Pierpont Morgan from the dealer Frank T. Sabin, 1909.