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Christopher Ricks, 3 May 1984

Swift: The Man, His Works and the Age: Vol III. Dean Swift 
by Irvin Ehrenpreis.
Methuen, 1066 pp., £40, December 1983, 0 416 85400 1
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Swift’s Tory Politics 
by F.P. Lock.
Duckworth, 189 pp., £18, November 1983, 0 7156 1755 9
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Jonathan Swift: Political Writer 
by J.A. Downie.
Routledge, 391 pp., £25, March 1984, 0 7100 9645 3
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The Character of Swift’s Satire 
edited by Claude Rawson.
Associated University Presses, 343 pp., £22.50, April 1984, 0 87413 209 6
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... and authoritarian; an accident of history made him a patron and champion of liberty.’ J.A. Downie’s Jonathan Swift: Political Writer expresses its gratitude to Ehrenpreis, for the books and for conversation; it thinks more highly than he does of Swift as a political thinker, without discounting the pressures of sheer contingency all his life. Claude ...

David Nokes on the duality of Defoe

David Nokes, 19 April 1990

Daniel Defoe: His Life 
by Paula Backscheider.
Johns Hopkins, 671 pp., £20.50, November 1989, 0 8018 3785 5
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... even boastful self-contradiction that runs throughout them. Borrowing a handy phrase from J.A. Downie, Backscheider remarks that at times Defoe appears not so much an individual as ‘a team of writers’. Even this under-estimates his protean talents. Often he delighted in playing not as one team only, but as both teams, keeping the whole game to ...

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