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Clubs of Quidnuncs

John Mullan, 17 February 2000

The Dunciad in Four Books 
by Alexander Pope, edited by Valerie Rumbold.
Longman, 456 pp., £55, August 1999, 0 582 08924 7
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... Up-to-date-ness is everything in the world of Duncedom. In her introduction to this edition, Valerie Rumbold is quiet about her admiration for the poem, but it is clear that she has set out to rescue it for students – and their teachers. Johnson argued that ‘the alterations which have been made in The Dunciad, not always for the better, require ...

Carry up your Coffee boldly

Thomas Keymer: Jonathan Swift, 17 April 2014

Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World 
by Leo Damrosch.
Yale, 573 pp., £25, November 2013, 978 0 300 16499 2
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Parodies, Hoaxes, Mock Treatises: ‘Polite Conversation’, ‘Directions to Servants’ and Other Works 
by Jonathan Swift, edited by Valerie Rumbold.
Cambridge, 821 pp., £85, July 2013, 978 0 521 84326 3
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Journal to Stella: Letters to Esther Johnson and Rebecca Dingley, 1710-13 
by Jonathan Swift, edited by Abigail Williams.
Cambridge, 800 pp., £85, December 2013, 978 0 521 84166 5
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... mode of writing. Impersonation, projection or ventriloquism was his habit, demonstrated throughout Valerie Rumbold’s superb edition of his Parodies, Hoaxes, Mock Treatises: spoof prophecies and bogus gallows broadsides; fabricated pamphlet wars on pointless subjects; straight-faced manuals of advice on behaving badly. For Walter Scott, his ...

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