Commentary on Pope v. Curl (1741)

Ronan Deazley, Lionel Bently (Editor), Martin Kretschmer (Editor)

Research output: Other contribution


Decision of the Chancery Court concerning the unpublished correspondence of Alexander Pope, in which Lord Chancellor Hardwicke draws a distinction between the ownership of a letter, as a physical document, and the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.
Original languageEnglish
TypeScholarly Commentary
Media of outputOnline
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Please cite as: Deazley, R. (2008) ‘Commentary on Pope v. Curl (1741)', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


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