John Arbuthnot, The Art of Political Lying

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Pat Rogers (University of South Florida)

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” (Journal, 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, …

1569 words

Citation: Rogers, Pat. "The Art of Political Lying". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 April 2021 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=40503, accessed 07 February 2023.]

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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