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A Swift Bickerstaff, sir!
April 1, 2005 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Jonathan Swift and April Fool's. In March of 1708 Swift published a pamphlet (under the name Isaac Bickerstaff) predicting the death of a popular astrological charlatan (John Partridge) who had predicted the demise of the COE. On March 29th, Swift published an account of the fulfillment of the prophecy and of the man's death, convincing people, despite Partridge's protestations, that the man claiming to be Partridge was an imposter. The Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers.
Ben Franklin used a similar prank when he started Poor Richard's.
HP Lovecraft used the name Isaac Bikerstaff Jr., in 1914, when attacking "a quack named Hartmann, a devotee of the pseudo-science of Astrology."
posted by OmieWise (7 comments total)

 
Nice Post
posted by anastasiav at 8:44 AM on April 1, 2005


Agreed. Nice Post. Tangentally related: See also George P. Burdell.
posted by Doohickie at 8:47 AM on April 1, 2005


I'm saddened to report that quonsar has died.

The family has requested, in lieu of flowers, contributions of the clever snark Kevin loved so much.
posted by orthogonality at 9:15 AM on April 1, 2005


I love Swift, and I love this story!
posted by malaprohibita at 9:52 AM on April 1, 2005


Man. That's even more mean-spirited than ol' Nate.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:34 AM on April 1, 2005


Very good, thanks for the links.
posted by gsb at 11:40 PM on April 1, 2005


Damn I love Swift. Thanks for the post.
posted by sleepy pete at 12:12 AM on April 2, 2005


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