Jonathan Swift: Political Writer (Routledge Revivals)

Downie, Alan (J. A.). 2015. Jonathan Swift: Political Writer (Routledge Revivals). London: Taylor and Francis. ISBN 978-1-13-881309-0 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

First published in 1984, this biography gives an account of Jonathan Swift’s political ideas and provides a critical commentary on his major works. With its emphasis on Swift as a political writer, the title offers a revision of the prevailing view of Swift’s politics and its application in the study of his works. Alan Downie argues that in terms of the party politics of the day Swift is neither a Whig nor Tory. Swift thought of himself as an ‘Old Whig’, and said he was ‘of the old Whig principles, without the modern articles and refinements’. Downie shows how Swift’s writings consistently make political points about society’s deviation from an ideal. As Swift’s views on morality, religion and politics are so closely linked, an understanding of his political ideas is vital; this reissue provides a detailed analysis of this aspect of Swift’s writings and views, and as such will be of great interest to any students researching his satire.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature > Centre for Caribbean Studies



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Date Deposited:

15 Feb 2016 21:15

Last Modified:

23 Jun 2017 15:51


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