Abbreviated title
Memoirs, relating to that change which happened in the Year 1710
JSA Identification Number
8_7_3
Teerink/Scouten Number
47
ESTC Number
N31130
Copy and its Location
,
Publisher and Printer
Volume XII. of the author’s works. Collected and revised by Deane Swift, Esq. of Goodrich in Herefordshire, Vol. xii., pp 1-36.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1765.

Commentary

In this volume of his Works, Faulkner reprinted Deane Swift’s text of the Memoirs, which was taken from the manuscript. Faulkner has made the same changes that he made regularly in the 1735 Works: ‘hath’ for ‘has’, ‘until’ for ‘till’, ‘possesseth’ for ‘possesses’. That the changes were originally endorsed by Swift seems indisputable, but they don’t here make his text more desirable than Dean Swift’s.

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. viii, pp. 107-28, 210-14; Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. iii, pp. 108-9, 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.