Swift's Politics

A Study in Disaffection

Swift's Politics

Modern scholarship has represented Jonathan Swift as both an Old Whig and a non-Jacobite Tory. Ian Higgins' contextual reassessment of Swift's political writing and recorded opinion considers the interpretative problems they present. It explores the consonance of Swift's political writing with militant Jacobite Tory writing on affairs of Church and State, and demonstrates Swift's dissimilarity from the Old Whig writers with whom modern criticism has misleadingly identified him. Swift's writings of the 1690s, during the last four years of Queen Anne's reign, and after the Hanoverian succession are shown to contain Jacobitical political implications when examined in their context in the 'paper wars' of the period. Higgins concentrates on the partisan meanings of the great satires A Tale of a Tub and Gulliver's Travels, and represents Swift (as he was read by his contemporaries) as a disaffected High Church Anglican extremist with Jacobite inclinations.


 Reviews:

'An exceptionally learned and persuasive study.' Brean S. Hammond, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth

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