Drapier's Letters

Drapier's Letters is the collective name for a series of seven pamphlets written between 1724 and 1725 by the Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Jonathan Swift, to arouse public opinion in Ireland against the imposition of a privately minted copper coinage which Swift believed to be of inferior quality. William Wood was granted letters patent to mint the coin, and Swift saw the licensing of the patent as corrupt. In response, Swift represented Ireland as constitutionally and financially independent of Britain in the Drapier's Letters. Since the subject was politically sensitive, Swift wrote under the pseudonym M. B. Drapier to hide from retaliation.

Although the letters were condemned by the Irish government, with prompting from the British government, they were still able to inspire popular sentiment against Wood and his patent. The popular sentiment turned into a nationwide boycott, which forced the patent to be withdrawn; Swift was later honoured for this service to the people of Ireland. Many Irish people recognized Swift as a hero for his defiance of British control over the Irish nation. Beyond being a hero, many critics have seen Swift, through the persona of the Drapier, as the first to organize a "more universal Irish community", although it is disputed as to who constitutes that community. Regardless of whom Swift is actually appealing to or what he may or may not have done, the nickname provided by Archbishop King, "Our Irish Copper-Farthen Dean", and his connection to ending the controversy stuck.

The first complete collection of the Drapier's Letters appeared in the 1734 George Faulkner edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift along with an allegorical frontispiece offering praise and thanks from the Irish people. Today, the Drapier's Letters are an important part of Swift's political writings, along with Gulliver's Travels (1726), A Tale of a Tub (1704), and A Modest Proposal (1729).

Read more about Drapier's Letters:  Background, Pamphlets, Publication, Reception

Other articles related to "drapier, letter, letters":

Drapier's Letters - Pamphlets - To The Whole People of Ireland
... The Drapier's fourth letter, To the Whole People of Ireland, A Word or Two to the People of Ireland, A Short Defense of the People of Ireland, was written on 13 October 1724 and was either published on 21 October ... Throughout the letter, the Drapier pretends that Carteret's transfer to Ireland to enforce Wood's patent was a rumor produced by Wood's allies, although Swift had knowledge to ... The fourth letter was written in response to the many charges put forth by the British supporters of Wood's patent against the Irish, including claims of papal influence and of treason ...
Drapier's Letters - Reception
... Although the original printing of the Drapier's Letters resulted in the arrest of Harding and a bounty placed upon the Drapier's head, Swift's actions in defending Ireland were deemed heroic ... banners and signs in the city to recognize Swift's deeds, and images from the letters, such as the Drapier comparing his campaign to David fighting Goliath, became themes in popular literature ... This gathering commemorated Swift and his letters and also protested against the harsh British treatment of Ireland ...
Drapier's Letters - Pamphlets - To The Shop-keepers
... The Drapier's first letter, To the Shop-keepers, Tradesmen, Farmers, and Common-People of Ireland, was printed in March 1724 ... Shortly afterwards, a copy of the first letter was forwarded by Swift to Lord Carteret on 28 April 1724, and knowledge of the letter's contents had spread all the way to London ... By April 1724, the letter was popular and Swift claimed that over 2,000 copies had been sold in Dublin ...
Drapier's Letters - Pamphlets - To The Lord Chancellor Middleton
... The sixth letter during the Drapier's campaign, To the Lord Chancellor Middleton, is dated 26 October 1724, and was written as a private letter from Jonathan Swift to Alan Brodrick, Lord Midleton (with the ... It is not a true "Drapier" letter, because the author professes to be different from the Drapier, although he was known to be one and the same by Lord Midleton ... Sir Walter Scott includes this letter as number five, although Faulkner, Sheridan, Deane Swift, Hawkesworth and Nichols label it as number six ...
Drapier's Letters - Pamphlets - To The Nobility and Gentry
... The Drapier's third letter, To the Nobility and Gentry of the Kingdom of Ireland Some Observations Upon a Paper, Call'd, The Report of the Committee of the Most Honourable ... The subject matter of the third letter is similar to that of the second letter, and some scholars have explained this as a result of Swift being forced to respond so quickly ... The Drapier emphasizes his humble nature and simple understanding when appealing to the pride of his audience, the nobility ...

Famous quotes containing the word letters:

    A hunger seized my heart; I read
    Of that glad year which once had been,
    In those fallen leaves which kept their green,
    The noble letters of the dead.
    Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892)