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Upholstery

February 1, 2016

Now on JSTOR and elsewhere…

conradbrunstrom

Arthur_Murphy_by_Nathaniel_Dance,_(later_Sir_Nathaniel_Dance-Holland,_Bt)

Good news … Declan Kavanagh and Conrad Brunstrom’s co-authored paper on Arthur Murphy – the ludicrously busy mid eighteenth century Irish polymath is now available on JSTOR.  Details here –

https://nuim.academia.edu/ConradBrunstrom

You can download it and read it from there.

Murphy’s funniest play, The Upholsterer (1758), carries the pleasant message – ‘Mind Your Own Business’.  As the central character Quidnunc (‘What News’) obsesses about geopolitics instead of upholstery, his business goes from bad to worse.  This play is actually an extrapolation of a joke penned by Joseph Addison for Richard Steele’s Tatler fifty years earlier, about an Upholsterer obsessed by the War of Spanish Succession rather than the Seven Years War.

Murphy had penned a pro-ministerial journal called The Auditor, defending the Bute ministry from Wilkes and Churchill’s The North Briton.  The experience led to him swearing off politics forever, and even inserting a joke against himself into a 1763…

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