King's College London
Literature and Politics in the Eighteenth Century; the History of Celebrity; Privacy and Publicity; Alexander Pope and his Contemporaries; Periodical Culture.
As the most celebrated British poet of the early eighteenth century, Alexander Pope (1688-1744) was a highly influential figure in the formation and articulation of sociable ideals. However, while he prided himself on his capacity for friendship, his own relationship to the social expectations of his time was far from comfortable.
This entry explores the diverse uses of the language and concept of friendship in eighteenth-century Britain. Though obviously central to sociable thought and practice, friendship was also caught up in philosophical debates about the instrumentality of feeling and the nature of social obligation.