Abbreviated title
A proposal for giving badges to the beggars in all the parishes of Dublin
JSA Identification Number
10_27_2
Teerink/Scouten Number
42
ESTC Number
T205440
Copy and its Location
ECCO Bodleian , Radcl. e.236
Publisher and Printer
Volume VI. of the author’s works. Containing The publick spirit of the whigs; and other pieces of political writings, &c., Vol. vi., pp 159-171.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1738.

Commentary

This is Faulkner’s reprinting in the Works of a text he first printed as an individual pamphlet in 1737. Swift dated it ‘April 22, 1737’. Unusually, Faulkner has made a mistake in the dropped head, calling it ‘A Proposals for Giving Badges &c’. The text is printed in his usual way in this period, with capitals to begin nouns and for the first words of paragraphs, but italics are used quite sparingly. On p. 165, ‘honourable State’ and ‘Happiness’ stand out strongly for being in 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. xiii, pp. 129-40, 223; Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. iii, pp. 813-16, 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.