Jonathan Swift, Jonathan Swift: Correspondence

Pat Rogers (University of South Florida)
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Swift took little heed of posterity when writing letters, unlike his friend Alexander Pope. This became an issue in the mid-1730s, when Pope attempted to retrieve portions of their exchanges to insert into a collection of his own correspondence, designed to produce an “authentic” edition as a corrective to the set recently brought out by Edmund Curll. Repeatedly, Swift showed himself unwilling to comply (Griffin 184). Long before this, however, it had been evident that Swift favoured a plain style in epistolary communications, and he claimed that he never spent three seconds working out exactly what to write to his friends. We may doubt whether his letters were always quite as spontaneous as this suggests, but it is true that he never doctored his messages for publication, as Pope…

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Citation: Rogers, Pat. "Jonathan Swift: Correspondence". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 September 2022 [, accessed 06 December 2023.]

40987 Jonathan Swift: Correspondence 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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