Swift’s Whig Pamphlet: Its Reception and Afterlife

In: Reading Swift
Ian Higgins The Australian National University Canberra

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There is a rich body of scholarly work on the reception and afterlife of Swift’s satiric fiction, poetry, and some of his Irish writings. Less attention has been paid to the reception and afterlife of some of his famous pamphlets written in the reigns of William III and Anne. This essay revisits Swift’s first political pamphlet, A Discourse of the Contests and Dissentions between the Nobles and the Commons in Athens and Rome written at the end of William III’s reign. It focuses on the tract’s topical political eccentricity, contemporary Tory reception, republication in Swift’s Miscellanies in Prose and Verse of 1711, continuities with some of Swift’s other writings on parliaments, and its afterlife in the work of some anti-democratic writers.

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Reading Swift

Papers from The Seventh Münster Symposium on Jonathan Swift


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