Abbreviated title
Directions to servants
JSA Identification Number
4_18_3
Teerink/Scouten Number
787
ESTC Number
N28339
Copy and its Location
ECCO Bodl., Vet. A4 e.1023
Publisher and Printer
Directions to servants. By the Revd. Dr. Swift, D.S.P.D., Vol. , pp .
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1745.

Commentary

This edition of Directions to Servants is perhaps the first, though it is a separate issue of the first part of volume VIII of Faulkner’s Works (1745), Teerink/Scouten 44. Two manuscripts of the work have survived but they are both incomplete; Faulkner’s is, therefore, the most authoritative text of the whole. There are extensive differences between the Faulkner printing and the manuscripts, and there were further revisions in the edition of the Works in 1751, including further changes of ‘es’ endings to ‘eth’.

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. 3-65, 209-20; Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. iii, pp. 832-5; 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.