Lost Works by Swift and the Ballad of January 1712

In: Reading Swift
Author:
Stephen Karian University of Missouri

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Abstract

Identifying “lost” works by Swift has been an active scholarly pursuit since the late eighteenth century. John Nichols was the first Swift editor to compile a list of works that Swift was known to have written but that had not been located. Since Nichols, many major discoveries have been made, though many works remain lost. This essay attempts to identify one of these, the collaboratively composed ballad Swift mentions in the Journal to Stella on 4 January 1712. Drawing on a range of inferences and contextual evidence, it argues that this ballad is An Excellent New Song Call’d the Trusty and True English-man. If persuasive, this essay expands the poetic canons not only of Swift but also of John Arbuthnot, the principal author of the January 1712 ballad.

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Reading Swift

Papers from The Seventh Münster Symposium on Jonathan Swift

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