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Swift's parodies are among his most fascinating works, but perhaps require most explication for the modern reader. Valerie Rumbold brings a new depth and detail to the editing of Swift's Bickerstaff papers, 'Polite Conversation', 'Directions to Servants' and other works on language and conduct. Highlights include a fresh investigation of the political and print contexts of the Bickerstaff papers, full commentaries on such smaller works as 'A Modest Defence of Punning' and 'On Barbarous Denominations in Ireland', identification and explanation of many additional sayings in 'Polite Conversation', and a detailed contextualisation of 'Directions to Servants' in contemporary domestic theory and practice. A substantial thematic Introduction is supplemented by an individual headnote and full annotation to each work. The Textual Introduction explores the publishing strategies adopted by Swift and his booksellers, and a separate Textual Account of each work presents and discusses changes in the texts over time.
About the Author
Valerie Rumbold is Reader in English Literature at the University of Birmingham.