Abbreviated title
The story of the injured lady
JSA Identification Number
9_1_3
Teerink/Scouten Number
44
ESTC Number
T52746
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 294-307.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1746.

Commentary

This seems to be a reprint of the Story from Miscellanies, Vol. XI, following Mrs Cooper’s first printing of the essay in a collection with poems. Swift probably wrote the piece at the time of the Union between England and Scotland, in 1707, but why it should have surfaced in London in the year of his death is unclear.

There are very few differences in substantives between the three editions of 1746, and Herbert Davis is mistaken in saying Faulkner’s edition is alone in having ‘In a Letter to a Friend, with His Answer’, as a sub-title in the dropped-head, if that’s what he means (The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, vol. ix, p. 369); the Miscellanies volume has it too.

In typography this edition is more conservative than Faulkner sometimes is at this stage in his career, with heavy use of capitals at the beginning of nouns.

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. 1-12, 369; Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. ii, pp. 169-75, 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.