Jonathan Swift’s classic satirical narrative was first published in 1726, seven years after Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (one of its few rivals in fame and breadth of appeal).
As a parody travel-memoir it reports on extraordinary lands and societies, whose names have entered the English language: notably the minute inhabitants of Lilliput, the giants of Brobdingnag, and the Yahoos in Houyhnhnmland, where talking horses are the dominant species. It spares no vested interest from its irreverent wit, and its attack on political and financial corruption, as well as abuses in science, continue to resonate in our own times.
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was an Irish writer, poet, satirist, and clergyman, best known for his works Gulliver s Travels, A Modest Proposal, and A Journal to Stella, amongst many others. Educated at Trinity College in Dublin, Swift received his Doctor of Divinity in February 1702, and eventually became Dean of St. Patrick s Cathedral in Dublin. Publishing under the names of Lemeul Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, and M. B. Drapier, Swift was a prolific writer who, in addition to his prose works, composed poetry, essays, and political pamphlets for both the Whigs and the Tories, and is considered to be one of the foremost English-language satirists, mastering both the Horatian and Juvenalian styles. Swift died in 1745, leaving the bulk of his fortune to found St. Patrick s Hospital for Imbeciles, a hospital for the mentally ill, which continues to operate as a psychiatric hospital today.