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A Tale of a Tub and Other Works


A tale of a Tub, the masterpiece of Swift's earlier years, is in many respects his most brilliant achievement, characterized in Dr Johnson's words by 'a vehemence and rapidity of mind, a copiousness of images, and.a vivacity of diction'.

This volume includes The Battle of the Books and The Mechanical Operation of the Spirit which accompanied A Tale of a Tub on its first publication in 1704. The Additions, published in somewhat mysterious circumstances many years later, are also included, together with a fresh discussion of the controversy about the authorship of A Tale of a Tub.

This edition is supplemented by a useful selection of passages from works by Fontenelle, Sir William Temple, Wotton, Richard Bentley, and others. These help to place Swift's allusive satires in the religious, intellectual, and political controversy of the day. Swift's powerful imagination places him in the company of writers such as Rabelais, Sterne, James Joyce, and Borges.

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