Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, Vol. 2: Dr. Swift (Volume 2)

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9780674858329: Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, Vol. 2: Dr. Swift (Volume 2)

This is the second volume of Irvin Ehrenpreis's trilogy, and deals with the period 1699-1714. The years between 1699 and 1710 were a time of training--in some ways unfortunate, as Ehrenpreis shows--for the dramatic four years which followed for Swift, as a political journalist in England.

Swift's ecclesiastical career, his search for preferment and the gradual transformation of his social life are examined. The author also scrutinizes Swift's attachment to Esther Johnson and Esther Vanhomrigh, the evolution of his political principles, and his unconscious motivations, and he reaches some original conclusions. Above all, however, Ehrenpreis concentrates on Swift's literary works of this period; and for some of these, such as An Argument against Abolishing Christianity, The Conduct of the Allies, and A Discourse of the Contests and Dissensions, he provides analyses that can stand as independent critical essays.

Volume Two lives up in every way to the high hopes generated for it by Volume One. It draws widely on contemporary documents and on modern research into Swift's life and times, providing much new information as well as judgements that are both judicious and original.

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This is the second volume of Irvin Ehrenpreis's trilogy, and deals with the period 1699-1714. The years between 1699 and 1710 were a time of training- in some ways unfortunate, as Ehrenpreis shows- for the dramatic four years which followed for Swift, as a political journalist in England.

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