Abbreviated title
Drapier's Letters IV, To the whole people of Ireland
JSA Identification Number
9_8_4
Teerink/Scouten Number
41
ESTC Number
T52771
Copy and its Location
CUL , Hib.5.735.13
Publisher and Printer
The works of J. S, D.D, D.S.P.D. in four volumes, Vol. iv., pp 128-150.
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1735.

Commentary

Faulkner’s text in the Works probably represents a revision by Swift, as Herbert Davis argues carefully in his edition, (Drapier’s Letters (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1935), pp. lxxii-lxxv). In some small respects it is more correct than the first edition, but there has also been some self-censorship. So ‘He [Wood] orders it to be Printed in another Paper, that Mr W---- will cram t his Brass down our Throats’ is altered to ‘’In another printed Paper of his contriving, it is roundly expressed, that Mr. Walpole . . .’. It is noticeable that Walpole is named in this and other passages in 1735, whereas he isn’t in 1724, but, in a late change, an attack on Chief Justice Whitshed is modified from ‘that infamous Wretch, Whitshed’ to ‘one Whitshed’.

The basis for the text is the London collection, The Hibernian Patriot, and the original lively typography used by John Harding is retained, though it is moderated by the use of capitals and small capitals, rather than full capitals.

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. x, pp. 51-68, 211-12; Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. iii, pp. 253-63, 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.