Do you know these quotes?
“Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind…”
“For fools rush in where angels fear to tread…..”
But did you know they are both from the works of Alexander Pope?
Alexander Pope was one of the acknowledged great poets of his day and is, after William Shakespeare and Alfred Lord Tennyson, the most quoted poet in English. As a Catholic he was prohibited to build a home within the City of London so he built his home, his garden, his grotto, in Twickenham, Middlesex. As well as a poet, Pope was a thinker who, via his friendships with Ralph Allen and William Kent became a profound influence on English landscape gardening and therefore on the way England still looks today. His grotto is all that survives of his house. Its restoration will give us, in part, a glimpse of the whole.
I have been commissioned to create a story which brings to life Alexander Pope, his grotto, his art, his ambitions, his arguments and feuds with friends and literary rivals. An elegant poet, he was also a savage satirist. Struck down by a disease in childhood that had enormous physical impact, he became passionate about perfection in form. My work will explore the conflicts both around and within this extraordinary man.
Here’s a cheeky snippet which describes the wonders of the Grotto and Pope’s poetry:
Alexander Pope: A Search For Perfection clip
This work, created in collaboration with Pope’s Grotto Preservation Trust, will start touring in May 2016. Download the press release here.
Read about the Pope’s Grotto restoration plans (and mention of the show, of course) in The Observer here.
Dates for your diaries:
National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE – 25th May 2017
The Alexander Pope, Twickenham, Cross Deep, Twickenham, TW1 4RB – 26th May 2017 at 7pm
Twickenham Festival, Twickenham, Middlesex – TBC June 2017
So where do I get tickets? – TBC so why not sign up for my newsletter and be one of the first to know?