An Introduction to: An Answer to Several Letters Sent Me from Unknown Hands
- Abbreviated title
- An answer to several letters sent me from unknown hands
- JSA Identification Number
- Teerink/Scouten Number
- ESTC Number
- Copy and its Location
- ECCO Bodleian, Vet. A4 e.3055/12 or Vet. A5 e.4858
- Publisher and Printer
- Volume XII. of the author's works. Collected and revised by Deane Swift, Esq. of Goodrich in Herefordshire, Vol. XII, pp 287-95.
- Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1765.
This text is reprinted by George Faulkner in Dublin from Deane Swift’s London edition of the Works (1765), viii. 192-7. It doesn’t seem to have any independent authority.
Herbert Davis (Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. xii, p. 332) says there is a variant reading on p. 292, where ‘joined’ has been corrected to ‘enjoined’. ‘Enjoined’ would be the better reading, but it is not to be found in the Bodleian copy, which is the one on ECCO and reprinted here.
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. 85-90, 332; Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. iii, pp. 617-18, 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.