Abbreviated title
Letter to the Right Worshipful the Mayor... of the City of Corke
JSA Identification Number
10_35_1
Teerink/Scouten Number
45A (7)
ESTC Number
N31129
Copy and its Location
CUL, Hib.5.768.23
Publisher and Printer
Volume XI. of the author's works. Containing, letters on different subjects; and poems on several occasions, Vol. XI, pp 163-4.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1763.

Commentary

Faulkner’s is the first printing of this letter. It was reprinted in London the following year. Faulkner reproduces his texts much more faithfully than the London editions under Hawkesworth’s editorship. Even though the practice is now old-fashioned, he retains the capitals for nouns, for example. The punctuation, however, seems quite modern in comparison. The text is knowledgeably annotated.

George Faulkner (?1703-1775) was Swift’s most important publisher and editor. In his early years Swift tended to publish his major works through the London trade, but with the Drapier’s Letters (1724) Dublin publication became more important. Faulkner, who had worked for William Bowyer in London and was a polished printer, brought out the first collected edition of the Drapier’s Letters, as Fraud Detected, in 1725, and by 1732 was planning a subscription edition of Swift’s Works. The four volumes came out in 1735, and established Faulkner as Swift’s printer. Swift, at least to some extent, and his friends had collaborated in the edition. Faulkner continued to print Swift and to enlarge his edition, which by 1771 consisted of twenty volumes.

Faulkner did his best both to date Swift’s works and to elucidate them with footnotes. His pioneering work is of first importance both for Swift’s text and for explanatory notes. For further discussion of Faulkner, see the long note in the Gulliver’s Travels volume in the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift, and Mary Pollard’s entry on him in her Dictionary.

References: The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis and others, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. xiii, pp. 190-1, 225; Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. iii, pp. 854-7, 779-90; Mary Pollard, A Dictionary of Members of the Dublin Book Trade 1550-1800 (London: The Bibliographical Society, 2000); Mary Pollard, ‘George Faulkner’, Swift Studies, 7 (1992), 79-96.