Abbreviated title
The accomplishment of the first of Mr. Bickerstaff's predictions
JSA Identification Number
4_4_4
Teerink/Scouten Number
41
ESTC Number
T52771
Copy and its Location
CUL 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 162-166.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1735.

Commentary

This piece was first published in a quarto pamphlet in 1708, and was then reprinted in the 1711 and 1727 Miscellanies. Swift made a very few refinements when revising for this Works edition: for example, ‘After I had told him how sorry I was to see him in those melancholy Circumstances’ becomes ‘After I had told him I was sorry to see him in those melancholy Circumstances’. The printing is typical of the style of the Works, with capitals for nouns, and the use of capitals and small capitals for the beginning of each paragraph giving the whole an orderly appearance.

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. ii, pp. 151-5, 287; Irvin Ehrenpeis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. ii, pp. 204-6, 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.