Abbreviated title
A short character of his ex[cellency] T[homas] E[arl] of W[harton], L[ord] L[ieutenant] of I[reland]
JSA Identification Number
6_3_1
Teerink/Scouten Number
45A (6a)
ESTC Number
N31128
Copy and its Location
CUL , Hib.5.768.22
Publisher and Printer
Volume X. of the author’s works. Containing, sermons on several subjects; and other pieces on different occasions, Vol. x., pp 283-296.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1762.

Commentary

This character was first printed in December 1710, as Swift refers to it in the Journal to Stella, vol. i, p. 115. It was reprinted by William Coryton in 1711. There are a number of revisions for the 1735 Works, generally of the sort usually made in the Works. ‘he makes choice . . ., whose Talent reaches’ becomes ‘maketh use . . ., whose Talents reach’, for example, and ‘in that Kingdom’ becomes ‘in Ireland’. The text retains capitals for nouns from an earlier period, and the typography follows that of the earlier Works, with capitals and small capitals beginning paragraphs and italics for proper nouns.

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. iii, pp. 175-84, 227-8; Journal to Stella, ed. Harold Williams, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1948); Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. ii, pp. 442-4; vol. iii, pp. 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.