Dean Swift: The Politics of Satire

A Symposium on Jonathan Swift and the Politics in his Age

Conducted at The Deanery of St. Patrick's, Upper Kevin Street, Dublin 8, on 18 October 2003, with Dr Robert Mahony in the Chair.


Valerie Rumbold (University of Birmingham)
Hand in Hand to Posterity: Reading Politics in Swift and Pope
Valerie Rumbold is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Birmingham, the author of Women's Place in Pope's World (Cambridge, 1989) and numerous articles on Pope, and editor of Pope's Dunciad in the Longman Annotated Texts series (1999). She is currently preparing the volume of Swift's Parodies and Related Works for the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift, forthcoming later this decade from Cambridge University Press.

Christopher J Fauske (Salem State College, Massachusetts)
The 'Radical' Jonathan Swift: the Full Back's Dilemma
Christopher Fauske is Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences at Salem State College, Massachusetts. Author of Jonathan Swift and the Church of Ireland, 1710-1724 (Irish Academic Press, 2002) he has also edited Archbishop William King and the Anglican Irish Context 1688- 1729 (Four Courts Press, 2003).

Christine Gerrard (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford)
'Swift, Queen Caroline and the Wild Boy of Hanover'
Christine Gerrard is a Fellow and Tutor in English, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, author of The Patriot Opposition to Walpole - Politics, Poetry and National Myth, 1725 -1742 (Oxford 1994) and an editor of Eighteenth-Century Poetry: An Annotated Anthology (Blackwell, 1998). She is preparing the volume of Swift's Political Writing for the forthcoming Cambridge Edition. [Note subject to revision; text not yet available]

Ian Higgins (Australian National University)
The Politics of 'A Modest Proposal'
Dr Ian Higgins is a Senior Lecturer in English literature at The Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. He is the author of Swift's Politics: A Study in Disaffection (1994) and of many articles on Swift and early eighteenth-century literature. With Claude Rawson, he is General Editor of the Cambridge Edition of Swift.

Claude Rawson gave interactively a concluding overview, which alas is not on record; to appreciate it one had to be present. He is Maynard Mack Professor of English, Yale University. One of the most prominent of Swift's living interpreters over a long career, he is General Editor, with Ian Higgins, of the forthcoming Cambridge Edition of Swift.

The discussion was followed by a reception marking the publication of Dr. Fauske's edition of Archbishop William King and the Anglican Irish Context (Four Courts Press); The Business of a Woman: The Political Writings of Delarivier Manley (Associated University Presses, London) by Dr. Ruth Herman, a speaker in the 2002 Swift Symposium; and the announcement of the Cambridge Edition of Swift. The sponsors included Newbury College, Massachusetts, the University of Hertfordshire, Associated University Presses (London), Cambridge University Press and Four Courts Press.

Discourse during Evensong, Sunday October 19:

Prof Denis Donoghue (New York University)
Swift's Thoughts on Religion
Denis Donoghue is Henry James Professor of English and American Letters at New York University. An internationally-acclaimed literary scholar for over four decades, he is the author of over twenty books of literary criticism, including Jonathan Swift: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge, 1967).


Dr Robert Mahony has undertaken to make available e-mail addresses of authors to bona-fide scholarly enquirers, who should e-mail him at

We are adding links to other Swift sites, on a reciprocal basis, as we identify them.

For additional background relating to St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, see the cathedral website.

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(c) Copyright on the electronic versions of papers as published in these Proceedings is with Dr Bob Mahony and Dr Roy Johnston 2002; copyright on contents of papers remains with the authors, and possibly with their publishers if published eleswhere.