Abbreviated title
The publisher's epistle to the reader in Letters written by Sir William Temple
JSA Identification Number
Teerink/Scouten Number
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Copy and its Location
Publisher and Printer
[Temple, Sir William], Letters written by Sir William Temple, Bart. and other ministers of state, both at home and abroad. ... Published by Jonathan Swift domestick chaplain to his excellency the Earl of Berkeley, Vol. , pp A2r-A4r.
London, Tonson, Jacob Churchil, A. and J. Simpson, R., 1700.


This epistle explains and evaluates the collection, while supplying some account of Swift’s relation to Temple. The text is taken from the original volume. The title page says, ‘Publish’d by Jonathan Swift’, which declares his role. ‘Published’ in this context means ‘edited’ but also ‘put before the public’.

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: The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis and others, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. i, pp. 257-9, 304; Irvin Ehrenpeis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. ii, pp. 33-6; 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.