Journal to Stella

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JONATHAN SWIFT Journal to Stella The "Journal to Stella," which extends over the years 1710 to 1713, was first published in 1766 and has often been republished since. The manuscripts are preserved in the British Museum. It was at Sir William Temple's home, Moor Park in Surrey, that Swift came to know Esther Johnson, or "Stella," who was fourteen years younger than himself. In 1699 Temple died, and Stella, with her friend, Rebecca Dingley, came to Ireland at Swift's request. Their relation has been made a great mystery. It will perhaps always be doubtful whether he was nominally married to her secretly; the evidence is on the whole against the existence of such a bond. But to the further question--why did he not take her to live as his wife--a sufficient reply may be found in his abnormal nature. In the "Journal" the word "Presto" refers to Swift himself (see FICTION); "MD" to Stella.
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May 1, 2013
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