chapter  4
A Tale of a Tub
Pages 27

A Tale of a Tub first appeared in 1704. No author was named on its title page, and readers were soon guessing who had written it. Various authors were suggested, including Swift’s own cousin Thomas Swift. Though this cousin might well have had a hand in an initial draft of the narrative sections of the book, the claims made both by contemporaries and modern scholars for his extensive authorship of the published Version cannot stand up to Jonathans explicit refutation of them in his correspondence, or his implicit rejection of them in the ‘Apology’ with which he prefaced the fifth edition when it came out in 1710, wherein he issued the challenge:

Swift’s first major work proved to be quite populär, going through four editions in twelve months. The fifth edition, which is the one usually printed today, came out in 1710. The book also provoked fierce criticism, its author being charged with being, among other things, an enemy of religion. This prompted Swift to deny the charges made against him in the ‘Apology.’