Abbreviated title
A project for the advancement of religion
JSA Identification Number
2_3_5
Teerink/Scouten Number
41
ESTC Number
T52771
Copy and its Location
CUL , Hib.5.735.10
Publisher and Printer
The works of J. S, D.D, D.S.P.D. in four volumes, Vol. i., pp 110-139.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1735.

Commentary

A Project was published through Swift’s regular bookseller, Benjamin Tooke, in 1709. It was well printed in an old-fashioned style, but for Faulkner’s 1735 Works it was significantly revised. The revision is aimed at polishing the original but in some respects it also makes it less outspoken. Writing of what was regarded as acceptable behavior, Swift originally said that any man ‘will let you know he is going to a Whore’, whereas in 1735 it becomes ‘Wench’. An interesting discussion of the dress of the clergy (bad behavior of some in clerical dress leads to general contempt) concludes in the first edition: ‘Though in my opinion it were infinitely better if all the Clergy (except the Bishops) were allowed to appear like other Men of the graver Sort, unless at those Seasons when they are doing the Business of their Function’. In Faulkner’s edition the passage is omitted. This printing, like that of other pieces in the 1735 Works, uses capitals for all nouns and begins each paragraph with a capital and small capitals, thereby making the text look very orderly.

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: References: The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis and others, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. ii, pp. 41-63, 278-9; Irvin Ehrenpeis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. ii, p. 276-80, 289-94, vol. iii, pp. 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.