Jonathan Swift (Routledge Revivals): Political Writer, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Jonathan Swift (Routledge Revivals)

Political Writer, 1st Edition

By Alan Downie


392 pages

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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

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

Are there elusive titles that you need and have been trying to source for years but thought that you would never be able to find?

Well this may be the end of your quest – here is a fantastic opportunity for you to discover past brilliance and purchase previously out of print and unavailable titles by some of the world’s most eminent academic scholars.

Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge publishing, Routledge Revivals is an exciting programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

If you are interested in Revivals in the Behavioral Sciences, please visit

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh