Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers

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Swift, Jonathan

Ladybird Classics: Gulliver's Travels. This prejudiced the world so much at first, that several of my friends had the assurance to ask me whether I were in jest? He reply'd, if it were otherwise I should have the less to answer for. John Milton. Nor will the influence of this transformation be less in family tranquillity, than it is in national. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. I suppose every body is sufficiently appriz'd of, and duly prepar'd for, the famous conjunction to be celebrated the 29th of this instant December, , foretold by all the sages of antiquity, under the name of the Annus Mirabilis, or the metamorphostical conjunction: a word which denotes the mutual transformation of sexes, the effect of that configuration of the celestial bodies the human males being turn'd into females, and the human females into males.

Partridge's life and work are now viewed through the prism of Swift's hoax, a fate not dissimilar to that endured by Pope's dunces. In addition, the hoax itself is often read by those looking for "background" on The Tatler , to little profit.

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These misreadings are worth addressing not just because they leave us with a distorted view of Partridge, but also because that distorted view leads in turn to misinterpreting Swift's hoax. Such appraisals plague the critical reception of the Bickerstaff papers, which has been lauded as a well-executed joke, another chapter in the familiar string of victories apparently enjoyed by the usually Tory "wits" over their usually Whig gulls.

Where critics have paid attention to Partridge on his own terms—as Herbert Davis does in his introduction to the second volume of Swift's Prose Works , or N.

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Lowe does in his excellent article, "Why Swift Killed Partridge"—the implications of Partridge's celebrity have still not been fully prosecuted. More important than this is Partridge's observation in a letter to Isaac Manley: "There is no such man as Isaack Bickerstaff.

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The hoax was conducted pseudonymously, and thus to ignore that "there is no such man as Isaack Bickerstaff " is to ignore the potentiality that faced contemporary readers of Predictions for the Year Partridge faced that potentiality, and his reaction is available to us in a letter. Pursuing this epistolary response enables us to imagine a situation in which Swift did not write the Predictions. Access options available:. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

The Bickerstaff Partridge Papers by Jonathan Swift

Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. Partridge's life and work are now viewed through the prism of Swift's hoax, a fate not dissimilar to that endured by Pope's dunces. In addition, the hoax itself is often read by those looking for "background" on The Tatler , to little profit.

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These misreadings are worth addressing not just because they leave us with a distorted view of Partridge, but also because that distorted view leads in turn to misinterpreting Swift's hoax. Such appraisals plague the critical reception of the Bickerstaff papers, which has been lauded as a well-executed joke, another chapter in the familiar string of victories apparently enjoyed by the usually Tory "wits" over their usually Whig gulls.

Where critics have paid attention to Partridge on his own terms—as Herbert Davis does in his introduction to the second volume of Swift's Prose Works , or N.

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Lowe does in his excellent article, "Why Swift Killed Partridge"—the implications of Partridge's celebrity have still not been fully prosecuted. More important than this is Partridge's observation in a letter to Isaac Manley: "There is no such man as Isaack Bickerstaff. The hoax was conducted pseudonymously, and thus to ignore that "there is no such man as Isaack Bickerstaff " is to ignore the potentiality that faced contemporary readers of Predictions for the Year Partridge faced that potentiality, and his reaction is available to us in a letter.

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Pursuing this epistolary response enables us to imagine a situation in which Swift did not write the Predictions. Access options available:.

Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus.