A Tale Of A Tub. Written For The Universal Improvement Of Mankind..


Bound in original calf, boards with decorated blind stamped panels; spine in compartments with raised bands, gilt. Boards and pastedowns have early advertisements for Drakard's Circulating Library and Genuine Medicine Warehouse, High-Street, Stamford, pasted on them. Good interior. No. 1437 in ink at top of title.









To which is added, an account of a battel between the antient and modern books in st. james's library.

Item Description

12mo. 3.5 x 5.75 inches. 310 pp. Separate title pages for A Full and True Account of the Battel Fought last Friday, Between the Antient and the Modern Books in St. James's Library and for A Discourse Concerning the Mechanical Operation of the Spirit. In a Letter To a Friend A Fragment, but pagination and register is continuous; Pagination includes [1] pp. advertisements opposite main title. With an additional advertisement page at the front.


This satire, published anonymously, was the first published work of Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), later appointed Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. It was compiled in the period 1694-97, while Swift was still in Ireland, working as secretary and editor to Sir William Temple. The Tale of a Tub is a complex religious and political satire, attacking excessive enthusiasm and credulity, with digressions at intervals to condemn contemporary writings on theology, literature and politics (including 'A Digression in Praise of Digressions'). The Battle of the Books attacks modern scholarship and defends the wisdom of the classical world. The whole work is a very lively parody, but it was frequently misinterpreted by his contemporaries as a satire on religion itself, and its publication may have affected Swift's chance of greater preferment within the church. The first edition was published in 1704 and this is an anonymously published 12mo edition of 1711, which appeared with four different variations in type setting (see ESTC for details). It does not appear to contain the note and apology which Swift added to the fifth edition of 1710, in response to his critics.

[Stock No. 21914]

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