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Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

ECTS allocation: 20
Teaching Faculty: Prof Aileen Douglas
Contact: 1 x 2 hours/week in Michaelmas term

This section of the course will consider a range of Swift's writings in poetry and prose. Seminars will explore Swift's works in relation to a number of opposed terms: Ireland/England; print/manuscript; private/public. Issues of gender, and questions of literary form, will also be foregrounded.

Week 1

Introduction (lecture and discussion)

Week 2
The Story of the Injured Lady (1707)
'Verses said to be Written on the Union' (1707)
'A Description of the Morning' (1709)
'A Description of a City Shower' (1710)

Week 3
A Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish Manufacture (1720)
'An Excellent New Song on a Seditious Pamphlet' (1720)
The Drapier's Letters I and IV (1724-5)
'Horace, Book I, Ode xiv...paraphrased and inscribed to Ireland' (1724)

Week 4
Gulliver's Travels (1726)

Week 5
‘A Short View of the Present State of Ireland' (1728)
A Modest Proposal (1729)
'An Excellent New Ballad; or, The True English Dean to be Hanged for a Rape' (1731)
‘Impromptu: “Behold a proof of Irish sense”' (c. 1742)

Week 6
'Stella's Birthday' (1727)
'A Beautiful Young Nymph going to Bed' (1731)
‘On the Death of Mrs. Johnson' (1727)
'Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift' (1731)

Primary Texts

Jonathan Swift, Swift: Major Works , ed. Angus Ross and David Woolley (rev. ed. 2008).
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels , ed. Claude Rawson and Ian Higgins (2005)

Suggested Preliminary reading

On Swift and Ireland, O. W Ferguson's Jonathan Swift and Ireland (1962) is still a valuable study. Carole Fabricant's Swift's Landscape (1982; repr. 1995), and Robert
Mahony's Jonathan Swift:The Irish Identity (1995), are also significant works.
The Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Swift (2003), edited by Christopher Fox is a good place to orient oneself in relation to Swift criticism, as are the essays in Locating Swift , ed. Aileen Douglas, Patrick Kelly and Ian Campbell Ross (1998).

The standard biography of Swift is Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works and the Age , 3 vols. (1962-83). David Nokes, David, Jonathan Swift: A Hypocrite Reversed (1985) is a very readable single-volume biography, as is Leo Damrosch, Jonathan Swift: His Life and his World (2013). For those unfamiliar with Swift and eighteenth-century Ireland, Joseph McMinn's Jonathan Swift: A Literary Life (1991) is a lively and accessible introduction.

Members of the seminar are encouraged to begin their reading of primary texts in advance of the first class meeting. A detailed bibliography will be distributed at the beginning of the course.



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Last updated 27 August 2015 by