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Gulliver's Travels, Swift,  Jonathan
Gulliver's Travels
Jonathan Swift

Paperback $14.99 - Penguin UK
Classics - Published: 6/Mar/2003 - ISBN: 9780141439495

Shipwrecked and cast adrift, Lemuel Gulliver wakes to find himself on Lilliput, an island inhabited by little people, whose height makes their quarrels over fashion and fame seem ridiculous. His subsequent encounters - with the crude giants of Brobdingnag, the philosophical Houyhnhnms and brutish Yahoos - give Gulliver new, bitter insights into human behaviour, Swift's savage satire views mankind in a distorted hall of mirrors as a diminished, magnified and finally bestial species, presenting us with an uncompromising reflection of ourselves.

This text, based on the first edition of 1726, reproduces all its original illustrations and includes an introduction by Robert Demaria, Jr., which discusses the ways Gulliver's Travels has been interpreted since its first publication.

Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745) was a poet, satirist and clergyman; his parents were English but he was born in Dublin. His father died before he was born and his mother soon returned to England. Jonathan was brought up by his nurse in Cumbria and later by his Uncle Godwin back in Dublin. He was very unhappy as he was treated like the poor relative who had kindly been given a home. Jonathan went to Trinity College, Dublin where he was an unruly student and only just scraped through the examinations.

Through family connections he went to work in the home of Sir William Temple in Surrey, as secretary and later became both friend and editor. A young girl called Esther was also living in Sir William's house; she became Swift's closest friend and perhaps his wife. There is a mystery surrounding the relationship - Swift clearly loved her but we don't know whether or not they ever married.

Jonathan Swift's cousin, the poet John Dryden, told him he would never be a poet, but he soon became known as a poet and writer. He wrote many political pamphlets and was sometimes known as 'the mad parson'. He became dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin in 1713 and

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