Abbreviated title
Letters between Swift and Benjamin Tooke, 29 June and 10 July 1710
JSA Identification Number
Teerink/Scouten Number
ESTC Number
Copy and its Location
Publisher and Printer
The works of Jonathan Swift, Dean of St Patrick's, Dublin, Vol. 13, pp 1-4.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1765.


This interesting exchange of letters, between author and bookseller, about Tale of a Tub does not survive in manuscript, so this printing, based on Deane Swift’s edition, is quite authoritative.

Benjamin Tooke, Jr. (1671-1723, fl. 1693-1723) was the son of Benjamin Tooke, Sr., sometimes confused with him. He was Swift’s bookseller from 1701, when he first published some of Temple’s papers, until his death. He published important works, including Contests and Dissensions and Tale of a Tub; Swift’s formal and serious works bore his imprint. After he began to write for the ministry in 1710, Swift was drawn into an alliance with the government printer, John Barber, but Tooke shared with Barber the appointments that came through ministry patronage, perhaps through Swift’s influence: The London Gazette; Stationers to the Ordnance; the reversion of Queen’s printer.

References: A Tale of a Tub, ed. A. C. Guthkelch and D. Nichol Smith, 2nd edn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1958), pp. xx-xxv; Irvin Ehrenpeis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. i, pp. 185-225; Michael Treadwell, 'Swift's Relations with the London Book Trade to 1714', in Author/Publisher Relations during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, ed. Robin Myers and Michael Harris (Oxford: Oxford Poytechnic Press, 1983), pp. 1-36.