3 FEBRUARY 1956, Page 27

POPE'S `DtrNmAD.' A Study of its Meaning.

By Aubrey L. Williams. (Methuen, 18s.)' PRESENT-DAY readers of Pope value The Dunciad highly. Mr. Williams's indispensable book does for it what Miss Starkman's book did for A Tale of a Tub, i.e., makes its crowded learning more easy to follow and see the point of. With interesting literary results --for we now see the poem more squarely re- lated to the iEneid than has been supposed— just as iEneas moves a kingdom from Troy to Latium, so Dulness moves hers from the City to the West End. Mr. Williams even makes clearer the literary kind to which the grotesque annotations of the Dunciad Variorum belong, and so explain their nature.