Subsequent Tonson Editions
Theobald was the leading 16th-century scholar of his generation. His edition was followed in 1747 by that of William Warburton (1698-1779). Warburton was Pope’s literary executor.
MY EDITION WAS SOLD AS MUCH AS IF IT WERE A NEW EDITION OF POPE AS IT WAS OF SHAKESPEARE. WILLIAM HAWKING, PROFESSOR OF POETRY AT OXFORD, LECTURED ON SHAKESPEARE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A BRITISH UNIVERSITY IN 1751-6 (THE LECTURES WERE PUBLISHED IN 1758). IN 1765, SAMUEL JOHNSON (1709-84), DICTIONARY-MAKER, ALL-ROUND PROFESSIONAL WRITER AND LITERARY CLUBMAN, PUBLISHED HIS OWN TONSON EDITION.
IT WAS A COMPILATION OF WHAT ALL THE PREVIOUS EDITORS HAD SAID BEFORE ME.
Johnson’s “variorum” was a runaway success and inspired the later editions of George Steevens (1736-1800) and Edmond Malone (1741-1812).