Abbreviated title
The humble petition of the footmen in and about the city of Dublin
JSA Identification Number
10_17_2
Teerink/Scouten Number
41
ESTC Number
T52771
Copy and its Location
CUL , Hib.5.735.13
Publisher and Printer
The works of J. S, D.D, D.S.P.D. in four volumes, Vol. iv., pp 371-374.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1735.

Commentary

This is the printing in Faulkner’s collected works of a piece apparently first published in London with [Matthew Pilkington’s] A Serious and Useful Scheme, to Make an Hospital for Incurables in 1732. It belongs to that complex of publications in the early 1730s where printings in London and Dublin are deliberately entangled and priority difficult to establish. Herbert Davis, in his edition of Swift’s prose (Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74) vol. xii, p. 345) found only one substantive variant between the editions.

The text is in line with Faulkner’s usual style in the Works: capitals for the beginning of all nouns and for words beginning paragraphs, contractions expanded, free use of italics.

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. xii, pp. 235-7, 345; Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), 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.