Abbreviated title
A preface to the Bishop of Sarum's introduction
JSA Identification Number
2_9_4
Teerink/Scouten Number
42
ESTC Number
T205440
Copy and its Location
BOD , 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 52-93.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1738.

Commentary

Faulkner’s edition of the Preface is set from the 1714 Dublin edition, and takes advantage of the reprinting to incorporate refinements and revisions: ‘appeared at several times’ becomes ‘appeared several Times’; ‘t’other’ becomes ‘the other’; ‘that’ several times becomes ‘who’; ‘destituted’ becomes ‘destitute’, ‘thro’’ becomes ‘throughout’, and so on. Names that had been disemvowelled are filled out. In incorporating changes to a list of those who talk the same language as Burnet, ‘Toland, Asgil, M . . . . th Collins, Tindal’ (Dublin, 1714) Faulkner has the third name filled out to ‘Monmouth’, though the reference is probably to Molesworth.

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. iv, pp. 53-84, 288-90; Irvin Ehrenpeis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. ii, p. 693-6, 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.