Jonathan Swift

(30 November 1667 - 19 October 1745)
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Works in ECPA

Source editions

  • Miscellanies in PROSE and VERSE. London: printed for John Morphew, near Stationers Hall, 1711. [14],416p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T39454)
  • Poems on Several Occasions. London: Printed for C. Rivington, at the Bible and Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1735. lx, 290,[14]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T42623; DMI 523; Foxon p. 45)
  • Bounce to Fop: An heroick epistle from a dog at Twickenham to a dog at court. By Dr. S----t. [London]: Dublin, printed, London, reprinted for T. Cooper, 1736. 11,[1]p. ; 2⁰. (ESTC T5522; Foxon B326)

Biographical note

Jonathan Swift, the son of an English lawyer, Jonathan Swift (1640-67), and his wife Abigail, née Erick (1640-1710), was born in Dublin in 1667. He was educated at Kilkenny College and in 1682 entered Trinity College, Dublin. After graduating, he moved to England and became secretary to the retired diplomat Sir William Temple (1628-1699). The daughter of Temple's housekeeper, Esther Johnson (1681-1728), was the addressee of his "Stella" poems. Swift pursued a career as a clergyman, he obtained an MA from Oxford and a DD from Trinity College, Dublin, and held various posts in Ireland throughout his life. Swift also began editing Temple's writings after his death in 1699 and edited several volumes of his works. His anonymous early prose works and political pamphlets brought him into contact with Addison, Steele, and Ambrose Philips. Some of his early poems were published in The Tatler. He made the acquaintance of the members of the Scriblerus Club before returning to Ireland as Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin, in 1714. Swift continued to visit London regularly to meet with Pope, Gay, Congreve, and others. This led to a joint publication with Pope of their Miscellanies (1727/8). Swift left England for the last time in 1727 and resumed his political and literary writing. After the death of "Stella" in 1728, and the loss of his good friends Gay and Arbuthnot in 1732 and 1735 respectively, Swift's mental health began to deteriorate. His poetic writing of this period has been regarded as voyeuristic and misanthropic. From 1741 his affairs were managed by guardians, and he was relieved of his duties in 1742. Swift died in 1745 and was buried in St. Patrick's.

Bibliography

DMI 2215; ODNB 26833; NCBEL 233, 1054-91; DLB 95

Manuscripts

  • Smith, Margaret M. Index of English Literary Manuscripts. Vol. III, 1700-1800 . London: Mansell, 1986-1997. Pt. 4 Sterne-Young. 15-91. Print. 4 volumes.

Editions

  • Rogers, Pat, ed. Jonathan Swift: Complete Poems. Harmondsworth: Penguin, and New Haven: Yale UP, 1983. Print.
  • Rawson, Claude and Ian Higgins, eds. The Essential Writings of Jonathan Swift. New York: Norton, 2009. Print.

Reference

  • Baines, Paul, Julian Ferraro, Pat Rogers, eds. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Eighteenth-Century Writers and Writing, 1660-1789. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 330-334. Print.
  • Radcliffe, David H., ed. Rev. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745). Spenser and the Tradition: ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830. Center for Applied Technologies in the Humanities, Virginia Tech, 2006. Web. 14 Oct. 2011. http://spenserians.cath.vt.edu/AuthorRecord.php?recordid=32920.
  • Williams, Abigail. "Jonathan Swift". Great Writers Inspire. University of Oxford. Web. 16 Jul. 2016. http://writersinspire.org/writers/jonathan-swift.

Criticism

  • Barnett, Louise K. Swift’s Poetic Worlds. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1982. Print.
  • England, A. B. Energy and Order in the Poetry of Swift. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell UP, 1980. Print.
  • Fischer, John Irwin and Donald C. Mell, eds. Contemporary Studies in Swift’s Poetry. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1981. Print.
  • Jaffe, Nora Crow. The Poet Swift. Hanover, NH: UP of New England, 1977. Print.
  • Johnson, Maurice. The Sin of Wit: Jonathan Swift as a Poet. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse UP, 1950. Print.
  • Schakel, Peter J. The Poetry of Jonathan Swift. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1978. Print.
  • Vieth, David M., ed. Essential Articles for the Study of Swift’s Poetry. Hamden, CT: Archon, 1984. Print.
  • Woolley, James D. Swift’s Later Poems: Studies in Circumstances and Texts. New York: Garland, 1988. Print.