The study of Jonathan Swift's works has most often focused on print publication, with less scholarly attention devoted to manuscript circulation. Based on extensive research into the manuscript versions of Swift's poetry, Stephen Karian's analysis suggests new ways of interpreting the different choices Swift made to circulate his texts in either print or manuscript form. He explains Swift's relationships with his publishers in England and Ireland; the ways in which his writings circulated in hand-written form; and the effect that political censorship had on the manner in which his most outspoken political poems were published. Working at the intersection of book history, bibliography, and textual and literary criticism, this book will open up new areas of study for Swift scholars, as well as developing an important methodology for the study of the distribution and reception of literary texts in the eighteenth century.
Stephen Karian is Assistant Professor of English at Marquette University.
Introduction; Part I. Swift's Career in Print and Manuscript: 1. Print publication; 2. Manuscript circulation through 1714; 3. Manuscript circulation after 1714; Part II. Print and Manuscript in Three Late Poems: 4. Censorship and revision in 'On Poetry: A Rapsody'; 5. The texts and contexts of 'The Legion Club'; 6. The authorial strategies and material texts of 'Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift'; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.