Jonathan Swift
Overview
 
Jonathan Swift was an Irish
Irish
Irish may refer to:*Irish cuisine* Ireland, an island in north-western Europe, on which are located:** Northern Ireland, a constituent country of the United Kingdom** Republic of Ireland, a sovereign state...

 satirist
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

, essay
Essay
An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. The definition...

ist, political pamphleteer
Pamphleteer
A pamphleteer is a historical term for someone who creates or distributes pamphlets. Pamphlets were used to broadcast the writer's opinions on an issue, for example, in order to get people to vote for their favorite politician or to articulate a particular political ideology.A famous pamphleteer...

 (first for the Whigs, then for the Tories), poet and cleric who became Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
Saint Patrick's Cathedral , or more formally, the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Patrick is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Dublin, Ireland which was founded in 1191. The Church has designated it as The National Cathedral of Ireland...

.

He is remembered for works such as Gulliver's Travels
Gulliver's Travels
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known simply as Gulliver's Travels , is a novel by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of...

, A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in...

, A Journal to Stella
A Journal to Stella
A Journal to Stella is a work by Jonathan Swift first partly published posthumously in 1766.It consists of 65 letters to his friend, Esther Johnson.Amongst the references to contemporaries of the dean, frequent mention is made of Elizabeth Germain....

, Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books
The Battle of the Books
The Battle of the Books is the name of a short satire written by Jonathan Swift and published as part of the prolegomena to his A Tale of a Tub in 1704. It depicts a literal battle between books in the King's Library , as ideas and authors struggle for supremacy...

, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity
An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity
An Argument to Prove that the Abolishing of Christianity in England May, as Things Now Stand Today, be Attended with Some Inconveniences, and Perhaps not Produce Those Many Good Effects Proposed Thereby, commonly referred to as An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, is an essay by Jonathan...

, and A Tale of a Tub
A Tale of a Tub
A Tale of a Tub was the first major work written by Jonathan Swift, composed between 1694 and 1697 and published in 1704. It is arguably his most difficult satire, and perhaps his most masterly...

. Swift is probably the foremost prose satirist in the English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, and is less well known for his poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

. Swift originally published all of his works under pseudonym
Pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

s—such as Lemuel Gulliver
Lemuel Gulliver
Lemuel Gulliver is the protagonist and narrator of Gulliver's Travels, a novel written by Jonathan Swift, first published in 1726.-In Gulliver's Travels:...

, Isaac Bickerstaff
Isaac Bickerstaff
Isaac Bickerstaff Esq was a pseudonym used by Jonathan Swift as part of a hoax to predict the death of then famous Almanac–maker and astrologer John Partridge....

, M.B.
Quotations

There are certain common privileges of a writer, the benefit whereof, I hope, there will be no reason to doubt; particularly, that where I am not understood, it shall be concluded, that something very useful and profound is couched underneath; and again, that whatever word or sentence is printed in a different character, shall be judged to contain something extraordinary either or wit of sublime."

A Tale of a Tub|A Tale of a Tub, Preface (1704)

Books, the children of the brain.

A Tale of a Tub, Sec. 1 (1704)

Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.

The Battle of the Books, preface (1704)

Instead of dirt and poison we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax; thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light.

The Battle of the Books, preface (1704)

Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.

A Critical Essay upon the Faculties of the Mind (1707)

There is nothing in this world constant, but inconstancy.

A Critical Essay upon the Faculties of the Mind (1707)

There are few, very few, that will own themselves in a mistake, though all the World sees them to be in downright nonsense.

The Tatler No. 63 (September 1709)

And surely one of the best rules in conversation is, never to say a thing which any of the company can reasonably wish had been left unsaid…

Hints Toward an Essay on Conversation (1709)

'Tis very warm weather when one's in bed.

Journal to Stella (November 8, 1710)

Encyclopedia
Jonathan Swift was an Irish
Irish
Irish may refer to:*Irish cuisine* Ireland, an island in north-western Europe, on which are located:** Northern Ireland, a constituent country of the United Kingdom** Republic of Ireland, a sovereign state...

 satirist
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

, essay
Essay
An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. The definition...

ist, political pamphleteer
Pamphleteer
A pamphleteer is a historical term for someone who creates or distributes pamphlets. Pamphlets were used to broadcast the writer's opinions on an issue, for example, in order to get people to vote for their favorite politician or to articulate a particular political ideology.A famous pamphleteer...

 (first for the Whigs, then for the Tories), poet and cleric who became Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
Saint Patrick's Cathedral , or more formally, the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Patrick is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Dublin, Ireland which was founded in 1191. The Church has designated it as The National Cathedral of Ireland...

.

He is remembered for works such as Gulliver's Travels
Gulliver's Travels
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known simply as Gulliver's Travels , is a novel by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of...

, A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in...

, A Journal to Stella
A Journal to Stella
A Journal to Stella is a work by Jonathan Swift first partly published posthumously in 1766.It consists of 65 letters to his friend, Esther Johnson.Amongst the references to contemporaries of the dean, frequent mention is made of Elizabeth Germain....

, Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books
The Battle of the Books
The Battle of the Books is the name of a short satire written by Jonathan Swift and published as part of the prolegomena to his A Tale of a Tub in 1704. It depicts a literal battle between books in the King's Library , as ideas and authors struggle for supremacy...

, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity
An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity
An Argument to Prove that the Abolishing of Christianity in England May, as Things Now Stand Today, be Attended with Some Inconveniences, and Perhaps not Produce Those Many Good Effects Proposed Thereby, commonly referred to as An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, is an essay by Jonathan...

, and A Tale of a Tub
A Tale of a Tub
A Tale of a Tub was the first major work written by Jonathan Swift, composed between 1694 and 1697 and published in 1704. It is arguably his most difficult satire, and perhaps his most masterly...

. Swift is probably the foremost prose satirist in the English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, and is less well known for his poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

. Swift originally published all of his works under pseudonym
Pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

s—such as Lemuel Gulliver
Lemuel Gulliver
Lemuel Gulliver is the protagonist and narrator of Gulliver's Travels, a novel written by Jonathan Swift, first published in 1726.-In Gulliver's Travels:...

, Isaac Bickerstaff
Isaac Bickerstaff
Isaac Bickerstaff Esq was a pseudonym used by Jonathan Swift as part of a hoax to predict the death of then famous Almanac–maker and astrologer John Partridge....

, M.B. Drapier—or anonymously. He is also known for being a master of two styles of satire: the Horatian
Satires (Horace)
The Satires are a collection of satirical poems written by the Roman poet Horace. Composed in dactylic hexameters, the Satires explore the secrets of human happiness and literary perfection...

 and Juvenalian styles.

Youth

Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland, to an Anglo-Irish
Anglo-Irish
Anglo-Irish was a term used primarily in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify a privileged social class in Ireland, whose members were the descendants and successors of the Protestant Ascendancy, mostly belonging to the Church of Ireland, which was the established church of Ireland until...

 family. He was the second child and only son of Jonathan Swift (1640-1667) and his wife Abigail Erick (or Herrick), of Frisby-on-the-Wreake. His father, a native of Goodrich, Herefordshire
Goodrich, Herefordshire
Goodrich is a village, in south Herefordshire, England which is very close to Gloucestershire and the Forest of Dean situated near the River Wye at and is famous for its old red sandstone Norman and medieval castle.Not strictly in the Forest of Dean but close enough to count Goodrich is a small...

, accompanied his brothers to Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 to seek their fortunes in law after their Royalist
Royalist
A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of government, but not necessarily a particular monarch...

 father's estate was brought to ruin during the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

. Swift's father died at Dublin before he was born, and his mother returned to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. He was left in the care of his influential uncle, Godwin, a close friend and confidante of Sir John Temple
John Temple (judge)
Sir John Temple was an Irish lawyer, courtier and politician who sat in the Irish House of Commons at various times between 1641 and 1677 and in the House of Commons of England from 1646 to 1648...

, whose son later employed Swift as his secretary.

Swift's family had several interesting literary connections: His grandmother, Elizabeth (Dryden) Swift, was the niece of Sir Erasmus Dryden
Sir Erasmus Dryden, 1st Baronet
Sir Erasmus Dryden, 1st Baronet was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1624.Erasmus Dryden was the son of John Dryden of Canons Ashby House, Northamptonshire. His mother, Elizabeth Cope, was the daughter and sole heiress of Sir John Cope, through whom the Drydens inherited...

, grandfather of the poet John Dryden
John Dryden
John Dryden was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden.Walter Scott called him "Glorious John." He was made Poet...

. The same grandmother's aunt, Katherine (Throckmorton) Dryden, was a first cousin of the wife of Sir Walter Raleigh. His great-great grandmother, Margaret (Godwin) Swift, was the sister of Francis Godwin
Francis Godwin
Francis Godwin was an English divine, Bishop of Llandaff and of Hereford.-Life:He was the son of Thomas Godwin, Bishop of Bath and Wells, born at Hannington, Northamptonshire...

, author of The Man in the Moone
The Man in the Moone
The Man in the Moone is a book by the English divine and bishop Francis Godwin . Apparently written in the late 1620s and published posthumously in 1638 under the pseudonym Domingo Gonsales, it contains the account of a "voyage of utopian discovery"...

 which influenced parts of Swift's Gulliver's Travels
Gulliver's Travels
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known simply as Gulliver's Travels , is a novel by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of...

. His uncle, Thomas Swift, married a daughter of the poet and playwright Sir William Davenant, a godson of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

.

His uncle Godwin Swift (1628-1695) a benefactor, he took primary responsibility for the young Jonathan, sending him with one of his cousins to Kilkenny College
Kilkenny College
Kilkenny College or KCK is a co-educational secondary school located in Kilkenny, in the South-East of Ireland. It is a private school which caters for both boarders and day students. It is the largest co-educational boarding school in Ireland...

 (also attended by the philosopher George Berkeley
George Berkeley
George Berkeley , also known as Bishop Berkeley , was an Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called "immaterialism"...

). In 1682 he attended Dublin University (Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin , formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", Extracts from Letters Patent of Elizabeth I, 1592: "...we...found and...

), financed by Godwin's son, Willoughby, from where he received his B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in 1686, and developed his friendship with William Congreve
William Congreve
William Congreve was an English playwright and poet.-Early life:Congreve was born in Bardsey, West Yorkshire, England . His parents were William Congreve and his wife, Mary ; a sister was buried in London in 1672...

. Swift was studying for his Master's degree
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

 when political troubles in Ireland surrounding the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 forced him to leave for England in 1688, where his mother helped him get a position as secretary and personal assistant of Sir William Temple
William Temple (British politician)
Sir William Temple, 1st Baronet was an English statesman and essayist.Sir William was the son of Sir John Temple of Dublin and nephew of Rev Dr Thomas Temple DD. Born in London, and educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he travelled across Europe, and was for some time a member of the Irish...

 at Moor Park, Farnham
Moor Park, Farnham
Moor Park, Farnham, Surrey, England is a Grade II listed house set in some of grounds. It was formerly known as Compton Hall. The present house dates from 1630 but has been substantially altered, particularly in 1750 and 1800...

. Temple was an English diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

 who, having arranged the Triple Alliance of 1668
Triple Alliance of 1668
The Triple Alliance of England, Sweden, and the United Provinces was formed to halt the expansion of Louis XIV's France in the War of Devolution. The alliance never engaged in combat against France, but it was enough of a threat to force Louis to halt his offensive and sign the Treaty of...

, retired from public service to his country estate to tend his gardens and write his memoirs. Gaining the confidence of his employer, Swift "was often trusted with matters of great importance." Within three years of their acquaintance, Temple had introduced his secretary to William III
William III of England
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland...

, and sent him to London to urge the King to consent to a bill for triennial Parliaments.

When Swift took up his residence at Moor Park, he met Esther Johnson
Esther Johnson
Esther Johnson was the English friend of Jonathan Swift, known as "Stella".Newfoundland-born author Trudy J. Morgan-Cole wrote a novel in 2006 detailing fictionalized portions of the Swift/Johnson friendship in The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson...

, then eight years old, the fatherless daughter of one of the household servants. Swift acted as her tutor and mentor, giving her the nickname "Stella", and the two maintained a close but ambiguous relationship for the rest of Esther's life.

Swift left Temple in 1690 for Ireland because of his health, but returned to Moor Park the following year. The illness, fits of vertigo or giddiness—now known to be Ménière's disease
Ménière's disease
Ménière's disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo and tinnitus and progressive hearing loss, usually in one ear. It is named after the French physician Prosper Ménière, who, in an article published...

—would continue to plague Swift throughout his life. During this second stay with Temple, Swift received his M.A. from Hertford College, Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 in 1692. Then, apparently despairing of gaining a better position through Temple's patronage, Swift left Moor Park to become an ordained priest in the Established Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 and in 1694 he was appointed to the prebend
Prebendary
A prebendary is a post connected to an Anglican or Catholic cathedral or collegiate church and is a type of canon. Prebendaries have a role in the administration of the cathedral...

 of Kilroot in the Diocese of Connor
Diocese of Connor
The Diocese of Connor, Territory of Dalriada, was established in the Synod of Rathbreasail in 1111. The diocese itself was erected in 480. Tradition holds that St. Patrick herded sheep on Slemish, in the heart of the Diocese, when first brought to Ireland as a slave. St...

, with his parish located at Kilroot
Kilroot
Kilroot is a townland in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It lies to the east of Eden, on the outskirts of Carrickfergus on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. It is within the Carrickfergus Borough Council area.-History:...

, near Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus , known locally and colloquially as "Carrick", is a large town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is located on the north shore of Belfast Lough, from Belfast. The town had a population of 27,201 at the 2001 Census and takes its name from Fergus Mór mac Eirc, the 6th century king...

 in County Antrim
County Antrim
County Antrim is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland. Adjoined to the north-east shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 2,844 km², with a population of approximately 616,000...

.

Swift appears to have been miserable in his new position, being isolated in a small, remote community far from the centres of power and influence. While at Kilroot, however, Swift may well have become romantically involved with Jane Waring. A letter from him survives, offering to remain if she would marry him and promising to leave and never return to Ireland if she refused. She presumably refused, because Swift left his post and returned to England and Temple's service at Moor Park in 1696, and he remained there until Temple's death. There he was employed in helping to prepare Temple's memoirs and correspondence for publication. During this time Swift wrote The Battle of the Books
The Battle of the Books
The Battle of the Books is the name of a short satire written by Jonathan Swift and published as part of the prolegomena to his A Tale of a Tub in 1704. It depicts a literal battle between books in the King's Library , as ideas and authors struggle for supremacy...

, a satire responding to critics of Temple's Essay upon Ancient and Modern Learning (1690). Battle was however not published until 1704.

On 27 January 1699 Temple died. Swift stayed on briefly in England to complete the editing of Temple's memoirs, and perhaps in the hope that recognition of his work might earn him a suitable position in England. However, Swift's work made enemies of some of Temple's family and friends who objected to indiscretions included in the memoirs. His next move was to approach King William directly, based on his imagined connection through Temple and a belief that he had been promised a position. This failed so miserably that he accepted the lesser post of secretary and chaplain to the Earl of Berkeley
Baron Berkeley
The title Baron Berkeley originated as a feudal title and was subsequently created twice in the Peerage of England by writ. It was first granted by writ to Thomas II de Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley, 6th feudal Baron Berkeley, in 1295, but the title of that creation became extinct at the death of...

, one of the Lords Justices of Ireland. However, when he reached Ireland he found that the secretaryship had already been given to another. But he soon obtained the living of Laracor, Agher, and Rathbeggan, and the prebend of Dunlavin in St. Patrick's
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
Saint Patrick's Cathedral , or more formally, the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Patrick is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Dublin, Ireland which was founded in 1191. The Church has designated it as The National Cathedral of Ireland...

 Cathedral, Dublin.

At Laracor, a mile or two from Trim, County Meath
Trim, County Meath
Trim is the traditional county town of County Meath in Ireland, although the county town is now Navan. The town was recorded in the 2006 census to have a population of 6,870....

, and twenty miles (32 km) from Dublin, Swift ministered to a congregation of about fifteen people, and had abundant leisure for cultivating his garden, making a canal (after the Dutch fashion of Moor Park), planting willows, and rebuilding the vicarage. As chaplain to Lord Berkeley, he spent much of his time in Dublin and traveled to London frequently over the next ten years. In 1701, Swift published, anonymously, a political pamphlet, A Discourse on the Contests and Dissentions in Athens and Rome.

Writer

In February 1702, Swift received his Doctor of Divinity degree from Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin , formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", Extracts from Letters Patent of Elizabeth I, 1592: "...we...found and...

. That spring he traveled to England and returned to Ireland in October, accompanied by Esther Johnson
Esther Johnson
Esther Johnson was the English friend of Jonathan Swift, known as "Stella".Newfoundland-born author Trudy J. Morgan-Cole wrote a novel in 2006 detailing fictionalized portions of the Swift/Johnson friendship in The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson...

—now twenty years old—and his friend Rebecca Dingley, another member of William Temple's household. There is a great mystery and controversy over Swift's relationship with Esther Johnson
Esther Johnson
Esther Johnson was the English friend of Jonathan Swift, known as "Stella".Newfoundland-born author Trudy J. Morgan-Cole wrote a novel in 2006 detailing fictionalized portions of the Swift/Johnson friendship in The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson...

 nicknamed "Stella". Many hold that they were secretly married in 1716.

During his visits to England in these years Swift published A Tale of a Tub
A Tale of a Tub
A Tale of a Tub was the first major work written by Jonathan Swift, composed between 1694 and 1697 and published in 1704. It is arguably his most difficult satire, and perhaps his most masterly...

and The Battle of the Books
The Battle of the Books
The Battle of the Books is the name of a short satire written by Jonathan Swift and published as part of the prolegomena to his A Tale of a Tub in 1704. It depicts a literal battle between books in the King's Library , as ideas and authors struggle for supremacy...

(1704) and began to gain a reputation as a writer. This led to close, lifelong friendships with Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson...

, John Gay
John Gay
John Gay was an English poet and dramatist and member of the Scriblerus Club. He is best remembered for The Beggar's Opera , set to music by Johann Christoph Pepusch...

, and John Arbuthnot
John Arbuthnot
John Arbuthnot, often known simply as Dr. Arbuthnot, , was a physician, satirist and polymath in London...

, forming the core of the Martinus Scriblerus Club
Scriblerus Club
The Scriblerus Club was an informal group of friends that included Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, John Gay, John Arbuthnot, Henry St. John and Thomas Parnell. The group was founded in 1712 and lasted until the death of the founders, starting in 1732 and ending in 1745, with Pope and Swift being...

 (founded in 1713).

Swift became increasingly active politically in these years. From 1707 to 1709 and again in 1710, Swift was in London, unsuccessfully urging upon the Whig
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

 administration of Lord Godolphin the claims of the Irish clergy to the First-Fruits and Twentieths
Queen Anne's Bounty
Queen Anne's Bounty was a fund established in 1704 to augment the incomes of the poorer clergy of the Church of England. The bounty was funded by the tax on the incomes of all Church of England clergy, which was paid to the Pope until the Reformation, and thereafter to the Crown.In 1890, the total...

 ("Queen Anne's Bounty"), which brought in about £2,500 a year, already granted to their brethren in England. He found the opposition Tory
Tory
Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada...

 leadership more sympathetic to his cause and Swift was recruited to support their cause as editor of the Examiner when they came to power in 1710. In 1711, Swift published the political pamphlet "The Conduct of the Allies," attacking the Whig government for its inability to end the prolonged war with France. The incoming Tory government conducted secret (and illegal) negotiations with France, resulting in the Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

 (1713) ending the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

.

Swift was part of the inner circle of the Tory government, and often acted as mediator between Henry St. John
Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke
Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke was an English politician, government official and political philosopher. He was a leader of the Tories, and supported the Church of England politically despite his atheism. In 1715 he supported the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 which sought to overthrow the...

 (Viscount Bolingbroke) the secretary of state for foreign affairs (1710–15) and Robert Harley
Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Mortimer
Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer KG was a British politician and statesman of the late Stuart and early Georgian periods. He began his career as a Whig, before defecting to a new Tory Ministry. Between 1711 and 1714 he served as First Lord of the Treasury, effectively Queen...

 (Earl of Oxford) lord treasurer and prime minister (1711–1714). Swift recorded his experiences and thoughts during this difficult time in a long series of letters to Esther Johnson, later collected and published as The Journal to Stella. The animosity between the two Tory leaders eventually led to the dismissal of Harley in 1714. With the death of Queen Anne
Anne of Great Britain
Anne ascended the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Act of Union, two of her realms, England and Scotland, were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain.Anne's Catholic father, James II and VII, was deposed during the...

 and accession of George I
George I of Great Britain
George I was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 until his death, and ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698....

 that year, the Whigs returned to power and the Tory leaders were tried for treason for conducting secret negotiations with France.

Also during these years in London, Swift became acquainted with the Vanhomrigh family and became involved with one of the daughters, Esther
Esther Vanhomrigh
Esther Vanhomrigh , an Irish woman of Dutch descent, was a longtime lover and correspondent of Jonathan Swift. Swift's letters to her were published after her death...

, yet another fatherless young woman and another ambiguous relationship to confuse Swift's biographers. Swift furnished Esther with the nickname "Vanessa" and she features as one of the main characters in his poem Cadenus and Vanessa. The poem and their correspondence suggests that Esther was infatuated with Swift, and that he may have reciprocated her affections, only to regret this and then try to break off the relationship. Esther followed Swift to Ireland in 1714, where there appears to have been a confrontation, possibly involving Esther Johnson. Esther Vanhomrigh died in 1723 at the age of 35. Another lady with whom he had a close but less intense relationship was Anne Long
Anne Long (c.1681-1711)
Anne Long , was born at Draycot Cerne, Wiltshire, one of six children of James Long and his wife, Susanna, née Strangways. A celebrated beauty, she was the granddaughter of Sir James Long, 2nd Baronet, and of another leading civil war politician, Giles Strangways...

, a toast of the Kit-Cat Club
Kit-Cat Club
The Kit-Cat Club was an early 18th century English club in London with strong political and literary associations, committed to the furtherance of Whig objectives, meeting at the Trumpet tavern in London, and at Water Oakley in the Berkshire countryside.The first meetings were held at a tavern in...

.

Maturity

Before the fall of the Tory government, Swift hoped that his services would be rewarded with a church appointment in England. However, Queen Anne appeared to have taken a dislike to Swift and thwarted these efforts. The best position his friends could secure for him was the Deanery
Deanery
A Deanery is an ecclesiastical entity in both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. A deanery is either the jurisdiction or residence of a Dean.- Catholic usage :...

 of St. Patrick's, Dublin. With the return of the Whigs, Swift's best move was to leave England and he returned to Ireland in disappointment, a virtual exile, to live "like a rat in a hole".

Once in Ireland, however, Swift began to turn his pamphleteering skills in support of Irish causes, producing some of his most memorable works: Proposal for Universal Use of Irish Manufacture (1720), Drapier's Letters (1724), and A Modest Proposal (1729), earning him the status of an Irish patriot.

Also during these years, he began writing his masterpiece, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts, by Lemuel Gulliver, first a surgeon, and then a captain of several ships, better known as Gulliver's Travels
Gulliver's Travels
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known simply as Gulliver's Travels , is a novel by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of...

. Much of the material reflects his political experiences of the preceding decade. For instance, the episode in which the giant Gulliver puts out the Lilliputian palace fire by urinating on it can be seen as a metaphor for the Tories' illegal peace treaty; having done a good thing in an unfortunate manner. In 1726 he paid a long-deferred visit to London, taking with him the manuscript of Gulliver's Travels
Gulliver's Travels
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known simply as Gulliver's Travels , is a novel by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of...

. During his visit he stayed with his old friends Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson...

, John Arbuthnot
John Arbuthnot
John Arbuthnot, often known simply as Dr. Arbuthnot, , was a physician, satirist and polymath in London...

 and John Gay
John Gay
John Gay was an English poet and dramatist and member of the Scriblerus Club. He is best remembered for The Beggar's Opera , set to music by Johann Christoph Pepusch...

, who helped him arrange for the anonymous publication of his book. First published in November 1726, it was an immediate hit, with a total of three printings that year and another in early 1727. French, German, and Dutch translations appeared in 1727, and pirated copies were printed in Ireland.

Swift returned to England one more time in 1727 and stayed with Alexander Pope once again. The visit was cut short when Swift received word that Esther Johnson was dying and rushed back home to be with her. On 28 January 1728, Esther Johnson died; Swift had prayed at her bedside, even composing prayers for her comfort. Swift could not bear to be present at the end, but on the night of her death he began to write his The Death of Mrs. Johnson. He was too ill to attend the funeral at St. Patrick's. Many years later, a lock of hair, assumed to be Esther Johnson's, was found in his desk, wrapped in a paper bearing the words, "Only a woman's hair."
Death became a frequent feature in Swift's life from this point. In 1731 he wrote Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift, his own obituary published in 1739. In 1732, his good friend and collaborator John Gay
John Gay
John Gay was an English poet and dramatist and member of the Scriblerus Club. He is best remembered for The Beggar's Opera , set to music by Johann Christoph Pepusch...

 died. In 1735, John Arbuthnot, another friend from his days in London, died. In 1738 Swift began to show signs of illness, and in 1742 he appears to have suffered a stroke, losing the ability to speak and realizing his worst fears of becoming mentally disabled. ("I shall be like that tree," he once said, "I shall die at the top.") To protect him from unscrupulous hangers on, who had begun to prey on the great man, his closest companions had him declared of "unsound mind and memory." However, it was long believed by many that Swift was really insane at this point. In his book Literature and Western Man, author J.B. Priestley even cites the final chapters of Gulliver's Travels as proof of Swift's approaching "insanity".

In part VIII of his series, The Story of Civilization
The Story of Civilization
The Story of Civilization, by husband and wife Will and Ariel Durant, is an eleven-volume set of books covering Western history for the general reader...

, Will Durant
Will Durant
William James Durant was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for The Story of Civilization, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife Ariel Durant and published between 1935 and 1975...

 describes the final years of Swift's life as such:

"Definite symptoms of madness appeared in 1738. In 1741 guardians were appointed to take care of his affairs and watch lest in his outbursts of violence he should do himself harm. In 1742 he suffered great pain from the inflammation of his left eye, which swelled to the size of an egg; five attendants had to restrain him from tearing out his eye. He went a whole year without uttering a word."


In 1744, Alexander Pope died. Then, on October 19, 1745, Swift died. After being laid out in public view for the people of Dublin to pay their last respects, he was buried in his own cathedral by Esther Johnson's side, in accordance with his wishes. The bulk of his fortune (twelve thousand pounds) was left to found a hospital for the mentally ill, originally known as St. Patrick’s Hospital for Imbeciles, which opened in 1757, and which still exists as a psychiatric hospital.

Epitaph

Text extracted from the introduction to The Journal to Stella by George A. Aitken and from other sources)


Jonathan Swift wrote his own epitaph
Epitaph
An epitaph is a short text honoring a deceased person, strictly speaking that is inscribed on their tombstone or plaque, but also used figuratively. Some are specified by the dead person beforehand, others chosen by those responsible for the burial...

:
Hic depositum est Corpus
IONATHAN SWIFT S.T.D.
Hujus Ecclesiæ Cathedralis
Decani,
Ubi sæva Indignatio
Ulterius
Cor lacerare nequit,
Abi Viator
Et imitare, si poteris,
Strenuum pro virili
Libertatis Vindicatorem.

Obiit 19º Die Mensis Octobris
A.D. 1745 Anno Ætatis 78º.


The literal translation of which is: "Here is laid the Body of Jonathan Swift, Doctor of Sacred Theology, Dean of this Cathedral Church, where fierce Indignation can no longer injure the Heart. Go forth, Voyager, and copy, if you can, this vigorous (to the best of his ability) Champion of Liberty. He died on the 19th Day of the Month of October, A.D. 1745, in the 78th Year of his Age."

William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and playwright, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms...

 poetically translated it from the Latin as:
Swift has sailed into his rest.
Savage indignation there
cannot lacerate his breast.
Imitate him if you dare,
world-besotted traveller.
He served human liberty.

Works

Swift was a prolific writer, notable for his satires. The most recent collection of his prose works (Herbert Davis, ed. Basil Blackwell, 1965-) comprises fourteen volumes. A recent edition of his complete poetry (Pat Rodges, ed. Penguin, 1983) is 953 pages long. One edition of his correspondence (David Woolley, ed. P. Lang, 1999) fills three volumes.

Major prose works

Swift's first major prose work, A Tale of a Tub
A Tale of a Tub
A Tale of a Tub was the first major work written by Jonathan Swift, composed between 1694 and 1697 and published in 1704. It is arguably his most difficult satire, and perhaps his most masterly...

, demonstrates many of the themes and stylistic techniques he would employ in his later work. It is at once wildly playful and funny while being pointed and harshly critical of its targets. In its main thread, the Tale recounts the exploits of three sons, representing the main threads of Christianity, who receive a bequest from their father of a coat each, with the added instructions to make no alterations whatsoever. However, the sons soon find that their coats have fallen out of current fashion, and begin to look for loopholes in their father's will that will let them make the needed alterations. As each finds his own means of getting around their father's admonition, they struggle with each other for power and dominance. Inserted into this story, in alternating chapters, the narrator includes a series of whimsical "digressions" on various subjects.

In 1690, Sir William Temple, Swift's patron, published An Essay upon Ancient and Modern Learning a defense of classical writing (see Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns
Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns
The quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns was a literary and artistic debate that heated up in the early 1690s and shook the Académie française.-Description:...

) holding up the Epistles of Phalaris as an example. William Wotton
William Wotton
William Wotton was an English scholar, chiefly remembered for his remarkable abilities in learning languages and for his involvement in the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns. In Wales he is remembered as the collector and first translator of the ancient Welsh laws.-Early years:William Wotton...

 responded to Temple with Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning (1694) showing that the Epistles were a later forgery. A response by the supporters of the Ancients was then made by Charles Boyle
Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery
Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery KT PC FRS was an English nobleman, statesman and patron of the sciences....

 (later the 4th Earl of Orrery and father of Swift's first biographer). A further retort on the Modern side came from Richard Bentley
Richard Bentley
Richard Bentley was an English classical scholar, critic, and theologian. He was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge....

, one of the pre-eminent scholars of the day, in his essay Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris (1699). However, the final words on the topic belong to Swift in his Battle of the Books (1697, published 1704) in which he makes a humorous defense on behalf of Temple and the cause of the Ancients.

In 1708, a cobbler named John Partridge
John Partridge (astrologer)
John Partridge was an English astrologer. He was also the author and publisher of a number of astrological almanacs and books.-Partridge's life:...

 published a popular almanac
Almanac
An almanac is an annual publication that includes information such as weather forecasts, farmers' planting dates, and tide tables, containing tabular information in a particular field or fields often arranged according to the calendar etc...

 of astrological predictions. Because Partridge falsely determined the deaths of several church officials, Swift attacked Partridge in Predictions For The Ensuing Year by Isaac Bickerstaff
Isaac Bickerstaff
Isaac Bickerstaff Esq was a pseudonym used by Jonathan Swift as part of a hoax to predict the death of then famous Almanac–maker and astrologer John Partridge....

, a parody predicting that Partridge would die on March 29. Swift followed up with a pamphlet issued on March 30 claiming that Partridge had in fact died, which was widely believed despite Partridge's statements to the contrary. According to other sources, Richard Steele uses the personae of Isaac Bickerstaff and was the one who wrote about the "death" of John Partridge and published it in The Spectator, not Jonathan Swift.*

Drapier's Letters (1724) was a series of pamphlets against the monopoly
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

 granted by the English government to William Wood
William Wood (Mintmaster)
William Wood was a hardware manufacturer and mintmaster, noted for receiving a contract to strike an issue of Irish coinage from 1722 to 1724. He also struck the 'Rosa Americana' coins of British America during the same period....

 to provide the Irish with copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 coinage. It was widely believed that Wood would need to flood Ireland with debased coinage in order make a profit. In these "letters" Swift posed as a shop-keeper—a draper—in order to criticize the plan. Swift's writing was so effective in undermining opinion in the project that a reward was offered by the government to anyone disclosing the true identity of the author. Though hardly a secret (on returning to Dublin after one of his trips to England, Swift was greeted with a banner, "Welcome Home, Drapier") no one turned Swift in. The government eventually resorted to hiring none other than Sir Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

 to certify the soundness of Wood's coinage to counter Swift's accusations. In "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift" (1739) Swift recalled this as one of his best achievements.

Gulliver's Travels
Gulliver's Travels
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known simply as Gulliver's Travels , is a novel by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of...

, a large portion of which Swift wrote at Woodbrook House in County Laois, was published in 1726. It is regarded as his masterpiece. As with his other writings, the Travels was published under a pseudonym, the fictional Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon and later a sea captain. Some of the correspondence between printer Benj. Motte and Gulliver's also-fictional cousin negotiating the book's publication has survived. Though it has often been mistakenly thought of and published in bowdlerized form as a children's book, it is a great and sophisticated satire of human nature based on Swift's experience of his times. Gulliver's Travels is an anatomy of human nature, a sardonic looking-glass, often criticized for its apparent misanthropy. It asks its readers to refute it, to deny that it has adequately characterized human nature and society. Each of the four books—recounting four voyages to mostly-fictional exotic lands—has a different theme, but all are attempts to deflate human pride. Critics hail the work as a satiric reflection on the shortcomings of Enlightenment thought.

In 1729, Swift published A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in...

 for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick,
a satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 in which the narrator, with intentionally grotesque logic, recommends that Ireland's poor escape their poverty by selling their children as food to the rich: ”I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food...” Following the satirical form, he introduces the reforms he is actually suggesting by deriding them:
Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients...taxing our absentees...using [nothing] except what is of our own growth and manufacture...rejecting...foreign luxury...introducing a vein of parsimony, prudence and temperance...learning to love our country...quitting our animosities and factions...teaching landlords to have at least one degree of mercy towards their tenants....Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, 'till he hath at least some glympse of hope, that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice.

Essays, tracts, pamphlets, periodicals

  • "A Meditation upon a Broomstick" (1703–1710): Full text: munseys.com
  • "A Critical Essay upon the Faculties of the Mind" (1707–1711)
  • The Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers (1708–1709): Full text: U of Adelaide
  • "An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity
    An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity
    An Argument to Prove that the Abolishing of Christianity in England May, as Things Now Stand Today, be Attended with Some Inconveniences, and Perhaps not Produce Those Many Good Effects Proposed Thereby, commonly referred to as An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, is an essay by Jonathan...

    " (1708–1711): Full text: U of Adelaide
  • The Intelligencer (with Thomas Sheridan) (1719–1788): Text: Project Gutenberg
  • The Examiner (1710): Texts: Ourcivilisation.com, Project Gutenberg
  • "A Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue" (1712): Full texts: Jack Lynch, U of Virginia
  • "On the Conduct of the Allies" (1713)
  • "Hints Toward an Essay on Conversation" (1713): Full text: Bartleby.com
  • "A Letter to a Young Gentleman, Lately Entered into Holy Orders" (1720)
  • "A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet" (1721): Full text: Bartleby.com
  • Drapier's Letters (1724, 1725): Full text: Project Gutenberg
  • "Bon Mots de Stella" (1726): a curiously irrelevant appendix to "Gulliver's Travels"
  • "A Modest Proposal
    A Modest Proposal
    A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in...

    ", perhaps the most notable satire in English, suggesting that the Irish should engage in cannibalism. (Written in 1729)
  • "An Essay on the Fates of Clergymen": Full text: JaffeBros
  • "A Treatise on Good Manners and Good Breeding": Full text: Bartleby.com

Poems

  • "Ode to the Athenian Society", Swift's first publication, printed in The Athenian Mercury
    The Athenian Mercury
    ] The Athenian Mercury, or The Athenian Gazette or The Question Project or The Casuistical Mercury, was a periodical written by The Athenian Society and published in London twice weekly between 17 March 1690 [i.e. 1691 new Calendar] and 14 June 1697...

     in the supplement of Feb 14, 1691.
  • Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D. Texts at Project Gutenberg: Volume One, Volume Two
  • "Baucis and Philemon" (1706–1709): Full text: Munseys
  • "A Description of the Morning" (1709): Full annotated text: U of Toronto; Another text: U of Virginia
  • "A Description of a City Shower" (1710): Full text: U of Virginia
  • "Cadenus and Vanessa" (1713): Full text: Munseys
  • "Phillis, or, the Progress of Love" (1719): Full text: theotherpages.org
  • Stella's birthday poems:
  • "The Progress of Beauty" (1719–1720): Full text: OurCivilisation.com
  • "The Progress of Poetry" (1720): Full text: theotherpages.org
  • "A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General" (1722): Full text: U of Toronto
  • "To Quilca, a Country House not in Good Repair" (1725): Full text: U of Toronto
  • "Advice to the Grub Street Verse-writers" (1726): Full text: U of Toronto
  • "The Furniture of a Woman's Mind" (1727)
  • "On a Very Old Glass" (1728): Full text: Gosford.co.uk
  • "A Pastoral Dialogue" (1729): Full text: Gosford.co.uk
  • "The Grand Question debated Whether Hamilton's Bawn should be turned into a Barrack or a Malt House" (1729): Full text: Gosford.co.uk
  • "On Stephen Duck, the Thresher and Favourite Poet" (1730): Full text: U of Toronto
  • "Death and Daphne" (1730): Full text: OurCivilisation.com
  • "The Place of the Damn'd" (1731): Full text
  • "A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed" (1731): Full annotated text: Jack Lynch; Another text: U of Virginia
  • "Strephon and Chloe" (1731): Full annotated text: Jack Lynch; Another text: U of Virginia
  • "Helter Skelter" (1731): Full text: OurCivilisation.com
  • "Cassinus and Peter: A Tragical Elegy" (1731): Full annotated text: Jack Lynch
  • "The Day of Judgment" (1731): Full text
  • "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift, D.S.P.D." (1731–1732): Full annotated texts: Jack Lynch, U of Toronto; Non-annotated text:: U of Virginia
  • "An Epistle To A Lady" (1732): Full text: OurCivilisation.com
  • "The Beasts' Confession to the Priest" (1732): Full annotated text: U of Toronto
  • "The Lady's Dressing Room" (1732): Full annotated text: Jack Lynch
  • "On Poetry: A Rhapsody" (1733)
  • "The Puppet Show" Full text: Worldwideschool.org
  • "The Logicians Refuted" Full text: Worldwideschool.org

Correspondence, personal writings

  • "When I Come to Be Old" – Swift's resolutions. (1699): Full text: JaffeBros
  • The Journal to Stella (1710–1713): Full text (presented as daily entries): The Journal to Stella; Extracts: OurCivilisation.com;
  • Letters:
  • 'The Correspondence of Jonathan Swift, D.D'. Edited by David Woolley. In four volumes, plus index volume. Frankfurt am Main ; New York : P. Lang, c1999-c2007.

Sermons, prayers


Miscellany

  • Directions to Servants (1731):: Extracts: OurCivilisation.com
  • A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation
    A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation
    A Complete Collection of genteel and ingenious Conversation, according to the most polite mode and method now used at Court, and in the best Companies of England, commonly known as A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation is a book by Jonathan Swift offering an ironic and...

    (1738)
  • "Thoughts on Various Subjects." Full text: U of Adelaide
  • Historical Writings: Project Gutenberg
  • Swift Quotations: JaffeBros – many choice, well-documented Swift quotations here
  • Swift quotes at Bartleby: Bartleby.com – 59 quotations, with notes

Legacy

John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

 named him as one of the three people in history who were the most influential for him.

Swift crater
Swift (Deimian crater)
Swift crater is a crater on Mars's moon Deimos. It is about in diameter. Swift crater is named after Jonathan Swift, who predicted the existence of the moons of Mars. Swift crater is one of two named features on Deimos, the other being Voltaire crater. On 10 July 2006, Mars Global Surveyor took an...

, an crater
Impact crater
In the broadest sense, the term impact crater can be applied to any depression, natural or manmade, resulting from the high velocity impact of a projectile with a larger body...

 on Mars
Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

's moon
Natural satellite
A natural satellite or moon is a celestial body that orbits a planet or smaller body, which is called its primary. The two terms are used synonymously for non-artificial satellites of planets, of dwarf planets, and of minor planets....

 Deimos
Deimos (moon)
Deimos is the smaller and outer of Mars's two moons . It is named after Deimos, a figure representing dread in Greek Mythology. Its systematic designation is '.-Discovery:Deimos was discovered by Asaph Hall, Sr...

, is named after Jonathan Swift, who predicted the existence of the moons of Mars.

Biographical sources

  • Samuel Johnson's "Life of Swift": JaffeBros. From his Lives of the Poets.
  • William Makepeace Thackeray's influential vitriolic biography: JaffeBros. From his English Humourists of The Eighteenth Century.
  • Bullitt, John M. Jonathan Swift and the Anatomy of Satire: A Study of Satiric Technique, 1953, Cambridge: Harvard U P,
  • Jae Num Lee "Swift and Scatological Satire", 1971, University of New Mexico Press, ISBN 0826301967 jstor review
  • Lee, Jae Num. "Scatology in Continental Satirical Writings from Aristophanes to Rabelais" and "English Scatological Writings from Skelton to Pope." Swift and Scatological Satire. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1971. 7–22; 23–53.
  • Susan Gubar "The Female Monster in Augustan Satire" Signs, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Winter, 1977), pp. 380–394
  • Many other sources are listed here.

See also

  • Poor Richard's Almanack
  • Sweetness and light
    Sweetness and light
    Sweetness and light is an English idiom that indicates a person's friendliness and ease. Today, it is generally used ironically to describe insincere courtesy. For example: The two had been fighting for a month, but around others it was all sweetness and light. Jonathan Swift coined the term in...


External links

  • Free audiobook of A Modest Proposal
    A Modest Proposal
    A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in...

    from LibriVox
  • BBC audio file "Swift's A modest Proposal". BBC discussion. In our time.

E-texts of works

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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