View full screen - View 1 of Lot 243. Jonathan Swift | Autograph letter signed, to the Duke of Dorset, in support of his friend Thomas Sheridan, 22 March 1735.
243

Jonathan Swift | Autograph letter signed, to the Duke of Dorset, in support of his friend Thomas Sheridan, 22 March 1735

VAT reduced rate

Estimate:

8,000

to
- 12,000 GBP

Jonathan Swift | Autograph letter signed, to the Duke of Dorset, in support of his friend Thomas Sheridan, 22 March 1735

Jonathan Swift | Autograph letter signed, to the Duke of Dorset, in support of his friend Thomas Sheridan, 22 March 1735

Estimate:

8,000

to
- 12,000 GBP

Lot sold:

9,450

GBP

Swift, Jonathan


Autograph letter signed (Jonath Swift"), to the Duke of Dorset, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland,


writing on the part of his his friend the comic writer, schoolmaster, and clergyman, Thomas Sheridan, reminding Dorset that "I carryed you to see a Comedy of Terence acter by the Scholars of Doctor Sheridan, with which Performance you were very well pleased", explaining that for personal reasons Sheridan wishes to exchange livings and take up the mastership of the Royal School at Cavan, and seeking Dorset's approval for the move, 2 pages, 4to, integral blank, Dublin, 22 March 1734 [ie. 1735], contemporary docketing, light spotting, residue of former mount on final blank


"...The Doctor is the most learned Person I known if this Kingdom, and the best school-master here in the memory of Man, having an excellent tast in all parts of Literature..."


A LETTER BY SWIFT IN SUPPORT OF A FRIEND. Thomas Sheridan (1687–1738) had been a friend of Swift since at least 1717. As he makes clear in this letter, Swift was profoundly impressed by Sheridan's pedagogic skills and learning, and early in their friendship Sheridan had tutored Swift in Greek. The two men shared a love of wordplay - Sheridan had published The Art of Punning (1719) under the pseudonym Tom Pun-sibi - and had both been regular contributors to The Intelligencer in 1728-29. Their friendship ran deep, and provided some consolation for Sheridan's unhappy marriage.


The plan outlined in this letter was that Sheridan close his Dublin school and exchange his clerical living in Dunboyne for the Royal School in Cavan, his hometown. Dunboyne was in Dorset's gift as Lord Lieutenant. The arch-Tory Swift was antagonistic to the politics of the Whiggish Dorset but he had known the Duke since childhood, and Dorset tended to look favourably on Swift's patronage requests. The exchange duly took place later in the year and provided Sheridan with much-needed financial stability.


LITERATURE:

The Correspondence of Jonathan Swift: Volume IV, 1732-36, ed. Harold Williams (Oxford, 1965), pp. 309-10


PROVENANCE:

Sotheby's, London, 10 July 2012, lot 54 (part lot)

Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate


Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.