An Introduction to: The Character of Primate Marsh
- Abbreviated title
- The character of Primate Marsh
- JSA Identification Number
- Teerink/Scouten Number
- ESTC Number
- Copy and its Location
- CUL , Williams 54
- Publisher and Printer
- The works of Jonathan Swift, D.D. Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, accurately revised in six volumes, adorned with copper-plates; with some account of the author’s life, and notes historical and explanatory, by John Hawkesworth, Vol. 6, ii, pp 176-177.
- London, Davis, Charles Hitch, Charles Hawes, Lacey Hodges, James Bathurst, Charles Dodsley, Robert Dodsley, James Bowyer, William, 1755.
This character first appeared in Dodsley’s Miscellanies, volume X, in 1745. It is here reprinted in Hawkesworth’s edition of Swift’s Works. The edition presents Swift in modern dress, and Hawkesworth felt free to emend Swift’s capitalization (modernized anyway), punctuation, and spelling.
John Hawkesworth (baptized 1720, died 1773) was a friend of Samuel Johnson and a successful editor and man of letters. His approach to Swift’s text was lively and reforming, allowing himself room to modernize Swift on most fronts.
The group of booksellers responsible for this publication is distinguished. They are led by Charles Bathurst, who was taken into apprenticeship by Benjamin Motte, the bookseller for Gulliver’s Travels and other of Swift’s official publications, in 1727 for the large sum of £80. He became a partner in the firm in 1734 and, after Motte’s death in 1738, he carried on the business until his own death in 1786. All my information on Motte and Bathurst comes from the research of Michael Treadwell.
References: The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis and others, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. v, pp. 211-12, 357; Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. i, pp. 48-9; J. L. Abbott, John Hawkesworth : Eighteenth-Century Man of Letters (Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1982); Michael Treadwell, ‘Benjamin Motte, Jr’, in Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 154, The British Literary Book Trade, 1700-1820, ed. James E. Bracken and Joel Silver (Detroit, MI: Gale, 1995).