The Journal to Stella is a series of letters, not a journal, although the 65 letters written between 1710 and 1713 are like a running diary of Jonathan Swift's daily life in London. The letters were sent to Swift's intimate friends Esther Johnson (“Stella”) and her older companion, Rebecca Dingley, referred to in the letters by many pet names but most often called “my dears” or MD. The letters the ladies wrote to Swift in reply have not survived, nor have earlier letters that he wrote to them.
These two women occupied a special place in Swift's life. Dingley, as she is always referred to, was an impoverished relation of Sir William Temple, in whose house Swift had met Esther Johnson in 1689 when she was a …
Citation: Barnett, Louise. "Journal to Stella". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 June 2008 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4284, accessed 06 June 2023.]