New publication: Alexander Pope in German

Dr Hilary Brown has published an edition of the first German verse translation of Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock in the MHRA's European Translations series.

Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock edited by Hilary BrownLuise Gottsched was one of the most prominent translators in eighteenth-century Germany, bringing her fellow-Germans into contact with many key writers, thinkers and scientists in the European republic of letters. Der Lockenraub(1744) was the first German verse translation of Alexander Pope’s Rape of the Lock(1714) and an impressive achievement at a time when English was still an exotic language in Germany and England largely a terra incognita. Gottsched’s translation not only helped to draw attention in Germany to one of Britain’s most venerated writers. It also represented a significant effort to challenge the dominance of the French in cultural life in Germany and to offer new models for the establishment of a national literary canon.

This volume makes Gottsched’s translation available in a modern critical edition for the first time. It includes the rich paratextual material – translator’s preface, footnotes and appendix - which accompanied the original edition and through which Gottsched sought to promote her cultural political agenda. The introduction outlines the circumstances which gave rise to this important text and discusses its influence on the development of mock-heroic poetry in Germany. The volume thus underlines the crucial role played by translation in shaping German culture during the Enlightenment.