Abbreviated title
Preface to Sir William Temple's Letters to the King
JSA Identification Number
Teerink/Scouten Number
ESTC Number
Copy and its Location
Publisher and Printer
[Temple, Sir William], Letters to the King, the Prince of Orange, the chief ministers of state, and other persons ... Published by Jonathan Swift, Vol. , pp .
London, Goodwin, Timothy Tooke, Benjamin, 1703.


This preface discusses Swift’s editorial work on Sir William Temple’s papers, explaining that he exercised some powers of selection. The text is taken here from the original volume. The title page says, ‘Published by Jonathan Swift, D.D.’, which declares Swift’s role. ‘Published’ in this context means ‘edited’ but also ‘put before the public’.

Timothy Goodwin was a respectable bookseller in Fleet Street, but it was Benjamin Tooke who paid for the copyright of this volume. Benjamin Tooke, Jr. (1671-1723, fl. 1693-1723) was the son of Benjamin Tooke, Sr., sometimes confused with him. He was Swift’s bookseller from 1701, when he first published some of Temple’s papers, until his death. He published important works, including Contests and Dissensions and Tale of a Tub; Swift’s formal and serious works bore his imprint. After he began to write for the ministry in 1710, Swift was drawn into an alliance with the government printer, John Barber, but Tooke shared with Barber the appointments that came through ministry patronage, perhaps through Swift’s influence: The London Gazette; Stationers to the Ordnance; the reversion of Queen’s printer.

References: The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis and others, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. i, pp. 266, 304; Irvin Ehrenpeis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. ii, pp. 33-6; Michael Treadwell, 'Swift's Relations with the London Book Trade to 1714', in Author/Publisher Relations during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, ed. Robin Myers and Michael Harris (Oxford: Oxford Poytechnic Press, 1983), pp. 1-36.