Abbreviated title
Journal to Stella [letters I, XLI-LXV]
JSA Identification Number
5_1_1
Teerink/Scouten Number
88a
ESTC Number
T154629
Copy and its Location
ECCO BL,
Publisher and Printer
Letters, written by the late Jonathan Swift, D.D. Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, and several of his friends. From the year 1703 to 1740. Published from the originals; with notes explanatory and historical, by John Hawkesworth, L.L.D. in three volumes., Vol. 1, pp [i]-xi, 57-59, 152-250, 252-298, 300-384, 389-390.
London, Davies, T. Davis, R. Davis, L. Reymers, C. Dodsley, James, 1766.

Commentary

Swift’s letters, edited by Hawkesworth, first appeared in three volumes in 1766. Hawkesworth says the letters ‘were obtained of Dr. Lyon by Mr. Thomas Wilkes, of Dublin, and of Mr. Wilkes by the booksellers for whom they are published’. Some of the letters in the Journal to Stella are included: I and XLI-LXV (with the exception of LIV). Two years later Deane Swift published letters I-XL of the Journal to Stella in volumes IV and V; he obtained them from his mother-in-law, Martha Whiteway.

The letters printed here by Hawkesworth survive (they were given to the British Museum by the booksellers); those published by Deane Swift do not. We are, threfore, able to see the fairly free hand Hawkesworth gave himself in modernizing and expurgating Swift's text. While a modern edition based on Swift's manuscripts gives a much better sense of what Swift was thinking in this period, and even more sharply, how he communicated with his correspondents, this edition has its interest as a historical curiosity.

John Hawkesworth (baptized 1720, died 1773) was a friend of Samuel Johnson's and a successful editor and man of letters. His approach to Swift's text was lively and reforming, allowing himself room to modernize Swift on most fronts.

The group of booksellers responsible for this publication carries on the tradition established by Benjamin Motte, the publisher of Gulliver's Travelsand his partner, Charles Bathurst.

References: Jonathan Swift, Journal to Stella, ed. Harold Williams, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1948; subsequently incorporated into the Herbert Davis edition of the prose writings); Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. ii, pp. 651-61; J. L. Abbott, John Hawkesworth: Eighteenth-Century Man of Letters (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1982); A Dictionary of the Printers and Booksellers . . . 1726 to 1775, ed. H. R. Plomer, G. H. Bushell, E. R. McC. Dix (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the Bibliographical Society, 1932).