In 1728-9, Jonathan Swift and his friend Thomas Sheridan anonymously published the Intelligencer. This Dublin periodical offered trenchant and often witty commentary on the Irish social and political scene in the year before A Modest Proposal. The frequently anthologized review of The Beggar's Opera (no. 3) is not only the best contemporary criticism of it but also Swift's central pronouncement on satire. Several essays lash important enemies, anger being always a great creative stimulus to both Swift and Sheridan. This is the first collected edition of the Intelligencer since 1730. It is based on the rare original Dublin pamphlets, each known copy of which has been collated. Full commentary and appendices draw upon contemporary pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, and manuscripts to site the Intelligencer papers in the personal, social, and political controversies in which they are engaged. There is also a fresh bibliographical analysis of the Intelligencer's textual transmission.
`Woolley's edition is superb in every way - it is truly a model of editorial scholarship. The Intelligencer has in the past been too little known, even to Swift scholars; Woolley has at last made it fully accessible, establishing once and for all its interest and value and providing the contextual and textual information necessary to full appreciation of it ... The volume as a whole is elegantly printed and remarkably error-free - a tribute both to the
Clarendon Press for its production values and to James Woolley for his meticulous care in preparing his work through every stage toward its publication ... Woolley's edition is an admirable achievement, and it is unlikely that any other will ever supersede it.'
ECS 27:1 (Jan 1994)
`a scholarly tour de force, displaying state-of-the-art textual criticism and excellent and generous annotation'
Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
`Wooley's annotations are outstandingly pointed; they do not avoid difficulties, and they are reliable on classical and biblical references, proverbial usages and much else....Woolley has produced the first-ever edition of a Swiftian text set squarely in its Irish context, and incidentally the most satisfactory version of any text by Swift shich has yet come before us.'
Pat Rogers, Times Literary Supplement
`a distinguished edition by James Woolley ... It is now possible, without visiting rare book libraries, to read the essays of both men in their original context, with their relation to one another in clear view.... Woolley's edition of the Intelligencer is exceptionally thorough and among the best Clarendon Press editions of Swift. It has a discreetly effective commentary, many apendices, extensive textual and bibliographical information. Its
scholarship is capacious, but worn with exactitude and tact, and never overburdened with irrelevant learning.'
London Review of Books Claude Rawson, London Review of Books
'with James Woolley's superb new edition ... it is possible for Swift scholars and historians to assess the historical, biographical and literary significance of The Intelligencer anew ... This edition of The Intelligencer, with its extensive introduction, superb apparatus, detailed bibliographical and textual notes, extensive appendixes and fine index, is a model of modern scholarship which should facilitate the emergence of a fuller
appreciation of the journal's significance and a clearer view of Swift's and Sheridan's economic thinking. In James Woolley and the Clarendon Press, Swift's and Sheridan's Intelligencer has secured the fine editor and careful publisher they sought in vain in Dublin when they embarked on their ambitious plan to produce a
James Kelly, St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, Irish Historical Studies
'James Woolley has performed a valuable service, allowing readers a chance to consider and compare the work of the two men. He has produced an exemplary edition of a text which must be considered essential reading for those concerned with eighteenth-century Ireland in general ... Among Professor Woolley's many and varied achievements here is a fresh and detailed attempt to give an exact chronology for the individual Intelligencer papers ... This
edition of The Intelligencer has been long awaited and the wait has been worthwhile for it is impossible to imagine the task better done.'
CIan Cambell Ross, Trinity College, Dublin, Eighteenth-Centruy Ireland, Vol. 7, 1992
'Many of the essays in this collection should be required reading for those who regularly teach Swift's "Modest Proposal" as an example of the arts of rhetoric. Professor Woolley has made a contribution to Swift studies of immense value. He has established himself as a premier editor of Swift.'
Leland Peterson, The East-Central Intelligencer, September 1992
'it is good to have this new scholarly edition, the first complete edition of any kind since that publsihed in London by William Bowyer and Charles Davis in 1730 ... Woolley's edition is superb in every way - it is truly a model of editorial scholarship ... Woolley has at last made it fully accessible, establishing once and for all its interest and value and providing the contextual and textual information necessary to full appreciation of it. The volume is
elegantly printed and remarkably error-free - a tribute both to the Clarendon Press for its production values and to James Woolley for his meticulous care in preparing his work through every stage toward its publication.'
Jerry C. Beasley, University of Delaware, Eighteenth Century Studies
'Swift scholars have been eagerly waiting the appearance of this edition for a number of years, and it is a great relief to find that James Woolley's meticulous scholarship has not been compromised by the publishers ... he has supplied excellent editorial guidance to each number of The Intelligencer in the form of introductory essays, splendid, informative notes on content, and textual notes. A series of appendices round off this welcome addition
to scholarly editions of Swift's works.'
J.A. Downie, University of London, British Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies, Vol. 17, Part 1, Spring 1994
Illustrations; Abbreviations and short titles; General introduction; Characteristics and emphases; Publication and reception; Sheridan's life; Sheridan the writer; Swift, Sheridan, and the Intelligencer; Dates of the Intelligencer; A note on the annotation; Textual introduction; The Intelligencer, Nos. 1-20; Appendices: A. Archbishop King on the taxation of Ireland; B. Unpublished contemporary comment; C. Duncombe's essay on
The Beggars Opera; D. Commentary in Mist's and Fog's; E. A True Character and On Paddy's Character; F. Building in Dublin c.1728; G. Published replies to No.16; H. The spurious No. 20; I. The Bowyer-Davis preface; J. Intended papers: Swift's manuscript hints; K. To the Author of Those Intelligencers Printed at Dublin;
L. Unauthorized titles of the Intelligencers; Textual notes; Index