A Political Biography of Jonathan Swift

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-05-01
  • Publisher: Pickering & Chatto Ltd

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Now most famous as the author of "Gulliver's Travels", Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was one of the most important propagandists and satirists of his day. Modern readers have difficulty placing him on the political spectrum. He rejected political parties as factions but supported the Whigs and then the Tories. He defended the exclusive privileges of (Anglican) Church of Ireland, yet he was an eloquent champion of liberty. Insisting he was English, he became a celebrated Anglo-Irish patriot. This study seeks to contextualize Swift within the political arena of his day.Swift's politics reveal two profound influences. War and his Irish upbringing shaped the High Church but pro-Revolution political stance that gave him points of contact with both Tories and Whigs without identifying him with either. Struggling to define himself politically without compromising his independence, Swift expressed passions more extravagant than his positions. Usually angered by a human situation rather than animated by an ideology, he invented memorable voices under the pressure of events. They reveal as much about his developing relationship to the political fray as his particular statements about the Church, the Glorious Revolution, or Ireland. That is why Swift's politics still command our attention.

Table of Contents

Introduction: 'The Church Had Never Such a Writer'p. 1
Swift, War, and Ireland: 'An Heap of Conspiracies, Rebellions, Murders, Massacres, Revolutions, Banishments'p. 13
Courting the Favour of the Great: A Discourse and A Tale of a Tubp. 31
'An Entire Friend to the Established Church': Churchman among the Statesmen and Witsp. 65
The Echo of the Coffee House and the Voice of the Kingdom: Propagandist for a Peacep. 95
'Do I become a Slave in Six Hours, by Crossing the Channel?': The Dean, the Drapier and Irish Politicsp. 141
Conclusion: 'Upon this Great Foundation of Misanthropy'p. 183
Notesp. 203
Works Citedp. 239
Indexp. 253
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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