Abbreviated title
A vindication of Isaac Bickerstaff
JSA Identification Number
4_5_1
Teerink/Scouten Number
498
ESTC Number
T117404
Copy and its Location
ECCO BL, 1080.i.58
Publisher and Printer
A vindication of Isaac Bickerstaff Esq; against what is objected to him by Mr. Partridge, in his almanack for the present year 1709. By the said Isaac Bickerstaff Esq;, Vol. , pp .
London, Unidentified, 1709.

Commentary

The Vindication was first printed here as a separate octavo pamphlet, without even a distributor being named. It was then reprinted in various collections approved by Swift. There are two passages in the first edition that are later excised because, I suspect, Swift wanted to make the comic effect more concise and telling. The first passage is about Partrige’s wife’s awareness of his death and comes before the suggestion that an uninformed carcass might go about calling itself Partrige. The second develops the idea that Partrige’s almanac might go on as well, or better, under his name after his death (‘perhaps a Name can make an Almanack’). I don’t regret the omission of the first but I do the second. There are other minor changes.

References: The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis and others, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. ii, pp. 157-64, 287-8; Irvin Ehrenpeis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. ii, pp. 207-9.