Peake Charles
Jonathan Swift & the Art of Raillery

Jonathan Swift & the Art of Raillery


ISBN: 978-0-86140-264-9

21.0 x 14.8 cm.       31 pp.      1986    Princess Grace Irish Library Lectures Series (ISSN 0950-5121) volume 3

In the first of the Princess Grace Irish Library Lectures, Professor A.Norman Jeffares began his consideration of the Parameters of Irish Literature in English by referring to 'the first great Irish writer in English . . . Jonathan Swift, the Dean of St. Patrick's, master of irony, and of the saeva indignatio, the fierce anger that inspired his satires'. In this, the third lecture, Professor Charles Peake turns to a very different aspect of Swift's mastery of irony – his development and refinement of what he called 'raillery' or 'irony . . . on the subject of praise'. Professor Peake shows how raillery suited both Swift's temperament and the characteristic bent of his genius, and examines some of the methods and techniques, ranging from the comparatively simple to the elaborately complex, by which Swift praised and honoured while avoiding fulsome eulogy.

Appended to the lecture are 'Notes on Irish Writers associated with Swift' which supply brief information, not only about figures of such distinction as Congreve and Thomas Parnell, but also about a number of minor writers, many of them undeservedly neglected, who were associated with the first great emergence of 'Irish Literature in English'.

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