Swift

Overview

Sir Leslie Stephen (1832–1904) came from a distinguished family of politicians, jurists and writers, and was the father of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf. His literary career began with writing about his great passion, the Alps, and he became a noted author and critic, and the first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography. He was a friend of John Morley (1838–1923), the general editor of English Men of Letters, who commissioned him to write three biographies for the first series, on Swift, Pope and ...
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Swift

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Overview

Sir Leslie Stephen (1832–1904) came from a distinguished family of politicians, jurists and writers, and was the father of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf. His literary career began with writing about his great passion, the Alps, and he became a noted author and critic, and the first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography. He was a friend of John Morley (1838–1923), the general editor of English Men of Letters, who commissioned him to write three biographies for the first series, on Swift, Pope and Johnson. Stephen is very interested in the family connections and history of Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), the great satirist and moralist, and he blends direct sources with general conclusions in an informal style which makes the work (first published in 1882) of continuing interest today. Stephen's Sketches from Cambridge, published anonymously in 1865, is also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781481872300
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 12/30/2012
  • Pages: 110
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.23 (d)

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CHAPTER III. EARLY WRITINGS. Swift came to Temple's house as a raw student. He left it as the author of one of the most remarkable satires ever written. His first efforts had been unpromising enough. Certain Pindaric Odes, in which the youthful aspirant imitated the still popular model of Cowley, are even comically prosaic. The last of them, dated 1691, is addressed to a queer Athenian Society, promoted by a John Dun- ton, a speculative bookseller, whose Life and Errors is still worth a glance from the curious. The Athenian Society was the name of John Dunton himself, and two or three collaborators who professed in the Athenian Mercury to answer queries ranging over the whole field of human knowledge. Temple was one of their patrons, and Swift sent them a panegyrical ode, the merits of which are sufficiently summed up by Dryden's pithy criticism: " Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet." Swift disliked and abused Dryden ever afterwards, though he may have had better reasons for his enmity than the child's dislike to bitter medicine. Later poems, the Epistle to Congreve and that to Temple already quoted, show symptoms of growing power and a clearer self-recognition. In Swift's last residence with Temple he proved unmistakably that he had learnt the secret often so slowly revealed to great writers, the secret of his real strength. The Tale of aTub was written about 1696; part of it appears to have been seen at Kilroot by his friend, Waring, Varina's brother; the Battle of the Books was written in 1697. It is a curious proof of Swift's indifference to a literary reputation that both works remained in manuscript till 1704. The "little parson cousin," Tom Swift, ventured some kindof claim to a share in the authorship of the Tale of a Tub. Swift treated this claim with the utmos...
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Table of Contents

1. Early years; 2. Moor Park and Kilroot; 3. Early writings; 4. Laracor and London; 5. The Harley administration; 6. Stella and Vanessa; 7. Wood's Halfpence; 8. Gulliver's Travels; 9. Decline.
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