For instance, at the time of its publication, many people misunderstood Swift's purpose in A Modest Proposal, assuming it to be a serious recommendation of economically motivated cannibalism.
The claim is not supported by a source and the article about Swift's A Modest Proposal contains no such claim.
What is the evidence that many contemporary readers misread Swift's essay in this way? (I am not looking for evidence for the plausibility that some people misread it; that is almost a given. I am looking for examples from Swift's lifetime.)