Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

I am no inconsiderable Shop-Keeper in this Town Swift and his Dublin Printers of the 1720's: Edward Waters, John Harding and Sarah Harding
by Pett, Craig Francis, Ph.D., Monash University (Australia), 2015, 566; 10291098
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis represents the first-ever full-length study of Swift’s dealings and working relationships with the Dublin printers who took the risk on his seditious Irish pamphlets of the 1720’s. These printers were: Edward Waters, who endured a violent and protracted prosecution for printing Swift’s A Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish Manufacture in May 1720; John Harding, who died as a consequence of his imprisonment for printing the fourth of Swift’s Drapier’s Letters in October 1724; and Harding’s widow, Sarah, who came to print occasional works for Swift a few years after her husband’s death. Written from the perspectives of the printers, the thesis discloses a substantial amount of never-before-seen evidence pertaining to the lives and careers of the printers, the form and nature of their working relationships with Swift, the legal and moral obligations Swift owed them as a pseudonymous author, as well as the circumstances of Harding’s death. Historians have assumed that Harding died of jail fever – an assumption that wholly absolves Swift. But new evidence suggests the clear possibility that Harding, who was due to appear in the Court of King’s Bench, where he would have been examined at length on the true identity of this ‘M.B. Drapier’, met with foul play, and that the persons behind it were Swift’s friend, Lord Lieutenant Carteret, and Swift himself. Further never-before-seen evidence concerns Sarah’s Harding’s suppressed complaints and the persistent pressure that Swift’s friends brought to bear upon the author to support her in the years following Harding’s death.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Proryn, Clive
School: Monash University (Australia)
Department: English
School Location: Australia
Source: DAI-A 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: British and Irish literature
Keywords: Book history, Drapier’s Letters, Faulkner, George, Harding, John, Irish literature, Murder
Publication Number: 10291098
ISBN: 978-1-369-33509-5
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