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November 24 , 2010

Jonathan Swift and the Eighteenth-Century Book


Jonathan Swift lived through a period of turbulence and innovation in the evolution of the book. His publications, perhaps more than those of any other single author, illustrate the range of developments that transformed print culture during the early Enlightenment. Swift was a prolific author and a frequent visitor at the printing house, and he wrote as critic and satirist about the nature of text. The shifting moods of irony, complicity and indignation that characterise his dealings with the book trade add a layer of complexity to the bibliographic record of his published works. The essays collected here offer the first comprehensive, integrated survey of that record. They shed new light on the politics of the eighteenth-century book trade, on Swift's innovations as a maker of books, on the habits and opinions revealed by his commentary on printed texts and on the re-shaping of the Swiftian book after his death.

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