Originally published in 1974, this volume of The History of Pompey the Little includes a critical introduction and a biographical sketch of the author based on new material from unpublished documents, together with explanatory notes for the novel's many classical and contemporary allusions.
Francis Coventry's The History of Pompey the Little was the talk of London in 1751; it continued to captivate readers throughout the century. Satirizing notable persons and events of its day, it startled the public by having as its 'hero' a Bologna lapdog, and created a new and popular form in English fiction - the 'spy'-novel with a non-human observer.
Book 1. 1. A Panegyric upon Dogs, together with some Observations on modern Novels and Romances. 2. The Birth, Parentage, Education, and Travels of a Lap-Dog. 3. Our Hero arrives in England. A Conversation between two Ladies concerning his Master. 4. Another Conversation between Hillario and a celebrated Lady of Quality. 5. The Character of Lady Tempest, with some Particulars of her Servants and Family. 6. Our Hero becomes a Dog of the Town, and shines in High-life. 7. Relating a curious dispute on the immortality of the soul, in which the name of our hero will but once be mentioned. 8. Containing various and sundry Matters. 9. Containing what the Reader will know, if he reads it. 10. The Genealogy of a Cat, and other odd Matters, which the great Critics of the Age will call improbably and unnatural. 11. What the reader will know if he reads it. 12. A matrimonial dispute. 13. A stroke at the Methodists. 14. The History of a modish Marriage; the Description of a Coffee-house, and a very grave political Debate on the Good of the Nation. 15. A Description of Counsellor Tanturian. 16. A short Chapter, containing all the Wit, and all the Spirit, and all the Pleasure of modern young Gentlemen. 17. Our Hero falls into great Misfortunes. 18. The history of a highwayman. 19. Adventures at the Bath. 20. More adventures at Bath. Book 2. 1. A Dissertation upon Nothing. 2. Fortune grows favourable to our Hero, and restores him to High-life. 3. A long Chapter of Characters. 4. The characters of the foregoing chapter exemplified. An irreparable misfortune befalls our hero. 5. Relating the History of a Milliner. 6. Another long chapter of characters. 7. A sad Disaster befalls Sir Thomas Frippery in the Night, and a worse in the Day. 8. A Description of a Drum. 9. In which several things are touched upon. 10. Matrimonial amusements. 11. Describing the miseries of a garretteer poet. 12. A poetical feast, and squabble of authors. 13. Shewing the ill Effects of Ladies having the Vapours. 14. Our Hero goes to the University of Cambridge. 15. Adventures at Cambridge. 16. Another College-Character. 17. A prodigious short Chapter. 18. Pompey returns to London, and occasions a remarkable Dispute in the Mall. 19. A terrible Misfortune happens to our Hero, which brings his History to a Conclusion. 20. The Conclusion.