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  • Stubbs succeeds in offering something delicate, subtle and new. ... In [this] fine and sensitive book, Stubbs restores Swift's writing to its rich religious and cultural contexts without diminishing its autonomy

    Ruth Scurr, Financial Times
  • Stubbs is an ideal guide to the tortuous ins and outs of Swift's time, an age defined by its political and religious conflicts, and their effects on his writing.

    Daily Telegraph
  • In this superb biography, Stubbs succeeds in enabling us to understand the complexities and character of this greatest of writers

    The Times Book of the Week
  • John Stubbs handles the intensely complicated political and historical background to Swift's life with admirable deftness and clarity. There have been dozens of lives of Swift. This one, unlike some of its predecessors, is readable, sane, alert and beautifully observed

    Freya Johnston, Literary Review
  • Stubbs goes further than any [biographer] previously in recreating the world Swift lived and exploring the duality of his character. ... [Along] with beautifully crafted lines... Another feature of Stubb's biography is its vast historical scholarship. As well as giving us a thoroughly credible Swift, this is a riveting account of English and Irish life in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. If there can be a definitive life of Jonathan Swift, this is it

    John Gray, New Statesman
  • Stubbs offers a kinder, rather admiring inspection of the great fighter and ruthless truth-teller

    John Walsh, Sunday Times
  • Impressive [and] astoundingly readable

    The Sunday Times
  • An entertaining and ambitious work that intelligently binds together the art and the politics of mid-17th-century England

    Charles Spencer on 'Reprobates', Financial Times
  • On fire with ideas and enthusiasm, excels at providing Donne with a living context

    Miranda Seymour on 'John Donne', Sunday Times
  • Highly readable, dashing as well as detailed

    Andrew Motion on 'John Donne', Guardian

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