By Leslie Stephen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2011
Online Publication Date:November 2011
Original Publication Year:1882
Subjects: English Literature 1700-1830 , English Literature: General Interest
Sir Leslie Stephen (1832–1904) came from a distinguished family of politicians, jurists and writers, and was the father of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf. His literary career began with writing about his great passion, the Alps, and he became a noted author and critic, and the first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography. He was a friend of John Morley (1838–1923), the general editor of English Men of Letters, who commissioned him to write three biographies for the first series, on Swift, Pope and Johnson. Stephen is very interested in the family connections and history of Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), the great satirist and moralist, and he blends direct sources with general conclusions in an informal style which makes the work (first published in 1882) of continuing interest today. Stephen's Sketches from Cambridge, published anonymously in 1865, is also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection.