First published in 1984, this biography gives an account of Jonathan Swift’s political ideas and provides a critical commentary on his major works. With its emphasis on Swift as a political writer, the title offers a revision of the prevailing view of Swift’s politics and its application in the study of his works. Alan Downie argues that in terms of the party politics of the day Swift is neither a Whig nor Tory. He never called himself a Tory, and yet he is constantly called one by his modern critics. Swift termed himself an ‘Old Whig’, and said he was ‘of the old Whig principles, without the modern articles and refinements’. Downie shows how Swift’s writings consistently make political points about how society is deviating from an ideal. As Swift’s views on morality, religion and politics are so closely linked, an understanding of his political ideas is vital; this reissue provides a detailed analysis of this aspect of Swift’s writings and views, and as such will be of great interest to any students researching his satire.
Table of Contents
Preface; Chronological Table; Part I: Days of Deference, 1667-1700 1. Infancy 2. Education 3. Moor Park 4. Swift and the Church; Part II: Friend of the Great, 1701-1714 5. Swift and the Whigs 6. A Tale of a Tub 7. Vicar of Laracor 8. Swift and the Tories 9. Dean of St Patrick’s; Part III: Hibernian Patriot, 1714-1745 10. Exile 11. Swift and Ireland 12. Swift and Walpole 13. Gulliver’s Travels 14. Swift, the Opposition and Ireland 15. A Man of Rhimes 16. A Driv’ler and a Show?; Appendix I: Swift’s Reputed Marriage to Stella; Appendix II: Swift’s Alleged Jacobitism; Abbreviations used in the Notes; Notes; Index