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2020-10-16 15:23:09
Swift, Jonathan]
The Hibernian Patriot: Being a Collection of the Drapier's Letters to the People of Ireland, Concerning Mr. Wood's Brass Half-Pence
A. Moor [i.e. William Bowyer], [London] Printed at Dublin. London Reprinted, 1730. First London edition. [viii], 264 pp. 8vo. First London Edition of the Drapier Letters. The first London edition of Swift's pseudonymous letters, first issued separately in 1724, then collected first by the Dublin edition of 1725 under the title Fraud Detected. In 1722, the English Parliament granted to one William Wood, mine-owner and iron-monger, the right to coin the extravagant sum of £100,000 in copper half-pence. Swift was outraged at what he perceived not only as a swindle to advance the interests of a particular moneyed class, but also as one more example of the monstrous tyranny exercised by England over the Irish. In the persona of a humble shopkeeper, Swift attacked the proposal on several sound economic grounds and pushed his conclusions to their logical and absurd consequences. Having calculated the real (as opposed to the nominal) value of Wood's half-pence, and taking it for granted that bad money drives out good, Swift concludes hilariously that a lady going out shopping will need to be "followed by a Car loaded with Mr. Wood's money," and that a banker will need twelve hundred horse to carry the cash he needs in his bank. But there is also a thunderously Swiftian appeal to freedom: "Were not the people of Ireland born as free as those of England? How have they foreited their Freedom? Is not their Parliament as fair a Representative of the People, as that of England? And hath not their Privy Council as great or a greater share in the Administration of publick Affairs? Are they … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: James Cummins Bookseller, ABAA [New York, NY, U.S.A.]
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