False and Incomplete Imprints in Swift’s Dublin, 1710-35

in Reading Swift

Abstract

This paper examines the varying fullness of Dublin imprints employed by printers during the period 1710-35, identifying printers with particular attention to cut printers’ ornaments, increasingly employed after 1710, typographical practices, and other sorts of evidence helpful in identifying where, when, and by whom books were printed. It reveals that Dublin printers of the period, because they often published what they printed (much more often than did London printers), usually acknowledged their work in imprints. It assesses the relative frequency of real, false, and incomplete imprints and examines the diverse motives for false and incomplete imprints. They were employed by printers and publishers for many reasons besides hiding their identities to avoid recrimination from authors, the public, and publishers as well as from church and governmental authorities. Identifying silent and hidden printers by mastering ornament stocks and typographical fingerprints provides solid information on collaboration and division within the book trade. Particular attention is given to imprints employed in controversies during 1713, 1723, and 1733 and to the practices of printer-publisher George Faulkner, whose early false and incomplete imprints are listed in an appendix.

Reading Swift

Papers from The Seventh Münster Symposium on Jonathan Swift

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