Abbreviated title
A proposal for the universal use of Irish manufacture
JSA Identification Number
9_2_4
Teerink/Scouten Number
41
ESTC Number
T5771
Copy and its Location
CUL, Hib.5.735.10
Publisher and Printer
The works of J.S, D.D, D.S.P.D, Vol. iv, pp 21-33.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1735.

Commentary

The first edition of the Proposal was printed by Edward Waters in 1720. Waters was prosecuted before the Grand Jury.

Faulkner’s edition of 1735 involves some minor toning down of the text. One reference to ‘Ministers’ is changed to ‘’chief Governors’ (though elsewhere ‘Ministries’ becomes ‘Ministers’). The ‘pleasant Observation’ of ‘some Body’s’ ‘that Ireland would never be happy ’till a Law were made for burning every Thing that came from England, except their People and their Coals’ is now followed by a weakening gloss, ‘I must confess, that as to the former, I should not be sorry if they would stay at home; and for the latter, I hope, in a little Time we shall have no Occasion for them.’ The printing is in the usual style of the 1735 Works, with paragraphs beginning with small capitals, capitals for nouns, and a free use of italics.

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. ix, pp. 13-22, 369-70; Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. iii, pp. 123-30, 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.