An Introduction to: The Difficulty of Knowing Oneself. A Sermon
- Abbreviated title
- The difficulty of knowing one's self. A sermon
- JSA Identification Number
- Teerink/Scouten Number
- ESTC Number
- Copy and its Location
- CUL , CCD.48.106
- Publisher and Printer
- Volume VIII. of the author’s works, containing Directions to servants; and other pieces in prose and verse, Vol. viii., pp 255-276.
- Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1746.
This sermon has an extraordinarily complicated history, being first printed by Dodsley for issue in different guises. This is Faulkner’s printing for his Works in 1746. He includes it with the note from the Dodsley edition, saying that although the sermon was found among Swift’s papers it was not perhaps in his hand. This printing seems to have no independent authority.
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. ix, pp. 349-62, 379; 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.