- Cambridge University Press, 2020 23x15 mm. Hard cover with dust jacket. 314 pp. b/w ill.
Presenting a fresh perspective on one of the most celebrated print canons in literary history, Valerie Rumbold explores the expressive force of print context, format, typography, ornament and paratext encountered by early readers of Jonathan Swift. By focusing on the books, pamphlets and single sheets in which the Dublin and London book trades published his work, this revealing whole-career analysis, based on a chronology of publication that often lagged years behind dates of composition, examines first editions and significant reprints throughout Swift's lifetime, and posthumous first editions and collections in the twenty years after his death. Drawing on this material evidence, Rumbold reframes Swift's publishing career as a late expression of an early modern formation in which publishing was primarily an adjunct to public service. In an age of digital reading, this timely study invites a new engagement with the printed texts of Swift.