Abbreviated title
Reasons humbly offered to the Parliament of Ireland
JSA Identification Number
3_14_2
Teerink/Scouten Number
44
ESTC Number
T228839
Copy and its Location
CUL , CCD 48.106
Publisher and Printer
Volume VIII. of the author’s works, containing Directions to servants; and other pieces in prose and verse, Vol. viii., pp 81-99.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1746.

Commentary

Faulkner’s reprint of this pamphlet, first published in 1738 seems slightly embarrassed. He explains to the reader that it is ‘Written in the Style of a Roman Catholick’ and omits a whole paragraph. Davis suggests that this omission may simply have been the fault of the compositor, but that explanation is implausible. The paragraph argues that Catholics lost their estates to ‘Schismaticks’ as a consequence of fighting for King Charles I. The ‘Schismaticks’ ‘gained by their Rebellion what the Catholicks lost by their Loyalty.’ Doubtless Faulkner anticipated some resentment on the part of those who had gained estates in this way. In any case, I see no evidence that Faulkner’s shop tolerated carelessness on the level of dropping a whole paragraph.

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. xii, pp. 283-95, 347-8; Irvin Ehrenpeis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. iii, pp. 764-5, 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.