Relation to Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift

The Jonathan Swift Archive is designed to complement the print edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift which is being published by Cambridge University Press. The edition has been in preparation since 2000.

Nature of the Print Edition

The edition is scheduled for publication in eighteen volumes between 2008 and 2014. The General Editors are Ian Gadd (Bath Spa University), Ian Higgins (Australian National University), Claude Rawson (Yale University), and David Womersley (University of Oxford).

The edition will consist of eighteen volumes, each with its own editor or editors:

A Tale of a Tub and Other Works, ed. Marcus Walsh (scheduled for publication February 2009)

Parodies, Hoaxes, Mock-Treatises: Polite Conversation, Directions to Servants, and Other Works, ed. Valerie Rumbold

Poems, four volumes, ed. James Woolley and Stephen Karian

English Political Writings: 1701-1711, ed. Bertrand A. Goldgar and Ian Gadd

English Political Writings: 1711-1714, ed. Bertrand A. Goldgar and Ian Gadd (published October 2008)

Journal to Stella: Letters to Esther Johnson and Rebecca Dingley 1710-1713, two volumes, ed. Abigail Williams

Later English Political Writings: The History of the Four Last Years and Other Works, ed. David Womersley

Writings on Religion and the Church to 1714: An Argument against Abolishing Christianity and Other Works, ed. Ian Higgins

Writings on Religion and the Church after 1714: Sermons and Other Works, ed. Ian Higgins and Ian Gadd

Irish Political Writings to 1725: Drapier’s Letters and Other Works, ed. Ian McBride

Gulliver’s Travels, ed. David Womersley

Irish Political Writings after 1725: A Modest Proposal and Other Works, ed. David Hayton and Adam Rounce

Personal and Miscellaneous Writings, Fragments and Marginalia

Index and Other Writings

Each volume will have an introduction of around 20,000 words, explanatory notes, a textual introduction, a list of emendations, a historical collation, and a bibliography. There will be indexes to individual volumes as well as to the edition as a whole.

Scope of Textual Information in Print Edition

It was realized early during discussions between the present general editors and Jim McLaverty (Keele University), then textual adviser, that although the print volumes would present a picture of a work’s textual history to the highest traditional standards, much desirable information would be left out. The historical collations would include all substantive variants, but accidental variants would be selected for inclusion only occasionally, when they seemed to be of special importance.

The general editors were conscious that Swift frequently revised his work (in contentious ways in the case of Tale of a Tub and Gulliver’s Travels), that works were sometimes censored, and that it was often the case that more than one work had a strong claim to be copy text for a print edition. They were also aware of Swift’s frequent experiments in typography and of the possible influence of different accidentals on the reading of Swift (an early pamphlet and a reprint in Faulkner’s Works sometimes differing quite sharply in this respect). Consequently, they recognized the desirability of providing access to all accidental variations, and considered asking volume editors to prepare full lists of collations to be made available electronically. However, it soon became clear that, if funding could be found, a better solution would be to make the texts themselves available electronically. That way, a reader interested in another potential copy text could read it with its variants in place and with the original texture of accidentals. Making the full range of variant texts available electronically would also make them searchable.