Pope v. Curl, London (1741)

Source: Lincolns Inn Library

Pope v. Curl, London (1741), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

Back | Record | Images | Commentaries: [1]
Record-ID: uk_1741a

Permanent link: https://www.copyrighthistory.org/cam/tools/request/showRecord.php?id=record_uk_1741a

Full title:
Pope v. Curl (1741) 2 Atk. 342

Full title original language:

Decision of the Chancery Court concerning the unpublished correspondence of Alexander Pope, in which Lord Chancellor Hardwicke draws a distinction between the ownership of a letter, as a physical document, and the right to authorise the first publication of that letter, a right which he concludes remains with the author of the same. Drawing upon the Public Records Office Archives the commentary explores the background to, and substance of, the decision, the nature and significance of epistolary correspondence in eighteenth century society, and subsequent related commentary and case-law. The commentary argues that the decision is of particular significance in the development of the concept of the author's text as intangible property.

1 Commentary:

  • Rose, M., 'The Author in Court: Pope v. Curll (1741)', Cardozo Art & Ent. L.J., 10 (1991-92): 475-493

  • Nichol, D.W., Pope's Literary Legacy: The Book-Trade Correspondence of William Warburton and John Knapton with other letters and documents, 1744-1780 (Oxford: The Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1992)

  • Mack, M., Alexander Pope: A Life (New York & London: Norton & Co, 1985)

Related documents in this database:
1741: Pope's Bill of Complaint, and Curl's Answer
1741: Pope v Curl: Entry from the Court's Book of Orders

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1741

Location: London

Language: English

Source: Lincolns Inn Library

Persons referred to:
Curl, Edmund
Pope, Alexander
Swift, Jonathan
Yorke, Philip, 1st Earl of Hardwicke

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:
Gyles v. Wilcox (1741) 2 Atk. 141
Pope v. Curl (1741) 2 Atk. 342

Institutions referred to:
Court of Chancery


authorship, legal concept of
moral rights, divulgation (first publication)
property theory
unpublished works

Responsible editor: Ronan Deazley

Our Partners

Copyright statement

You may copy and distribute the translations and commentaries in this resource, or parts of such translations and commentaries, in any medium, for non-commercial purposes as long as the authorship of the commentaries and translations is acknowledged, and you indicate the source as Bently & Kretschmer (eds), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) (www.copyrighthistory.org).

You may not publish these documents for any commercial purposes, including charging a fee for providing access to these documents via a network. This licence does not affect your statutory rights of fair dealing.

Although the original documents in this database are in the public domain, we are unable to grant you the right to reproduce or duplicate some of these documents in so far as the images or scans are protected by copyright or we have only been able to reproduce them here by giving contractual undertakings. For the status of any particular images, please consult the information relating to copyright in the bibliographic records.

Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) is co-published by Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DZ, UK and CREATe, School of Law, University of Glasgow, 10 The Square, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK