Abbreviated title
Of mean and great figures made by several persons
JSA Identification Number
12_6_2
Teerink/Scouten Number
47
ESTC Number
N31131
Copy and its Location
CUL , Hib.5.768.25
Publisher and Printer
The works of Dr. Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin, volume XIII. Collected and revised by Deane Swift, Esq. of Goodrich in Herefordshire, Vol. xiii., pp 253-258.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1765.

Commentary

Deane Swift first printed this text and Faulkner follows him very closely. Manuscript autograph drafts survive in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Deane Swift text is modernized, most obviously in capitalization, but it provides a good reading text, as does Faulkner’s.

Deane Swift (1707-83) was doubly linked to Swift by family ties. His father, also Deane Swift, was Swift’s Cousin, the son of Godwin Swift, who had supported Swift’s education. He married Mary, the daughter of Martha Whiteway, also Swift’s cousin and one of the people who cared for him in later life. He was on good terms with Swift in the 1730s (Swift praised him in a letter to Pope), and he later wrote An Essay upon the Life, Writings, and Character of Dr. Jonathan Swift (1755), an important biographical study, in response to Orrery’s negative view. Mrs Whiteway inherited many of Swift’s manuscripts, and Deane Swift was able to draw on this collection when he revised Hawkesworth’s edition of Swift in 1765

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 of the Dublin Book Trade 1550-1800.

References: The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis and others, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. v, pp. 83-6, 350; 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.