From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Dunciad is a landmark satiric poem by Alexander Pope published in three different versions at different times. The first version (the "three book" Dunciad) was published in 1728. The second version, in which Pope confirmed his authorship of the work, appeared in the Dunciad Variorum in 1735. The New Dunciad, in four books and with a different hero, appeared in 1743. The poem celebrates the goddess Dulness and the progress of her chosen agents as they bring decay, imbecility, and tastelessness to the kingdom of Great Britain.