John Arbuthnot, The Art of Political Lying

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On 9 October 1712 Jonathan Swift reported to his women friends in Dublin the arrival of a manuscript dispatched to him by Queen Anne’s physician: “Arbuthnot has sent me from Windsor a pretty Discourse upon Lying, and I have orderd the Printer to come for it. It is A Proposall for publishing a curious Piece, calld the Art of Politicall Lying, in two Volumes &c. And then there is an Abstract of the first volume, just like those pamphlets which they call the works of the Learned” (


, 449). The author of this work was the Scottish polymath Dr John Arbuthnot, whom Swift had known for about a year. Both men had recently become founder members of a politico-literary pressure group often called the Brothers, and they were on the point of helping to establish the famous Scriblerus Club…

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Citation: Rogers, Pat. "The Art of Political Lying". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 April 2021 [, accessed 18 July 2024.]

40503 The Art of Political Lying 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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