Jonathan Swift - Life Stories, Books, and Links
Biographical Information

Stories about Jonathan Swift

Selected works by this author

Selected books about / related to this author

Recommended links
Picture of Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels; seventeenth century Irish Literature
Jonathan Swift   (1667 - 1745)
Category:  Irish Literature
Born:  November 9, 1667
Dublin, Ireland
Died:  October 17, 1745
Dublin, Ireland
Related authors:
Alexander Pope, Cyrano de Bergerac, Francois Rabelais, John Dryden, Voltaire, William Congreve
list all writers
Jonathan Swift - LIFE STORIES
10/17/1745     The Gifts of Jonathan Swift
In life, according to those who knew or have written about him, Jonathan Swift was a complex combination of satire and friendship, charity and churlishness. In death too: his self-written epitaph reads in part, "Here lies the body of Jonathan Swift...where savage indignation can no longer lacerate his heart"; his will leaves his entire estate for the founding of "an hospital... for idiots and lunatics."
10/19/1745     Swift at the End
On this day in 1745 Jonathan Swift died at the age of seventy-eight, after a long period of poor physical and mental health. Five years earlier, in his last note to the last person he could still make sense of, his devoted housekeeper Mrs. Whiteway, Swift admitted to feeling "so stupid and confounded [that] . . . I hardly understand one word I write. I am sure my days will be very few; few and miserable they must be."
11/30/1667     Jonathan Swift, Dublin's Child
On this day in 1667 Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, the exact location seemingly pregnant with significance: a few blocks from St. Patrick's Cathedral, where Swift would be Dean; almost in the backyard of Dublin Castle, representing the Englishness he would both covet and skewer; the specific address, 7 Hoey's Court, almost perfect for perhaps the most famous scoffer in literature.
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A Modest Proposal and Other Satirical Works
anthology, fiction
A Tale of a Tub and Other Works
anthology, non-fiction
Concordance to the Poems of Jonathan Swift
by Michael Shinagel, Jonathan Swift
Gulliver's Travels
Jonathan Swift
by Angus Ross (Editors), Frank Kermode (Editors), Jonathan Swift
The Correspondence of Jonathan Swift; Volume I
by Jonathan Swift, David Woolley (Editor)
Writings of Jonathan Swift
by Jonathan Swift, William Piper (Editor), Robert A. Greenberg (Editor)
guide, anthology
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Essential Articles for the Study of Jonathan Swift's Poetry
by David M. Vieth (Editor)
Jonathan Swift
by Harold Bloom
Jonathan Swift
by Leslie Stephen
Jonathan Swift and Popular Culture: Myth, Media, and the Man
by Ann Cline Kelly
literary history
Jonathan Swift: A Collection of Critical Essays
by Claude Rawson (Editor)
Jonathan Swift: Romantic and Cynic Moralist
by Jack G. Gilbert
criticism and analysis
Jonathan Swift: The Irish Identity
by Robert Mahony
biography, criticism and analysis
Locating Swift: Essays on the 250th Anniversary of the Death of Jonathan Swift, 1667-1745
by Aileen Douglas (Editor), Aileen Doyle, Ian Campbell Ross (Editor), Patrick Kelly (Editor), Ian Campbell (Editor)
criticism and analysis
The Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Swift
by Christopher Fox (Editor)
guide, biography, anthology
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From the essay "Satire in the works of Swift and Gay":

"Not all satirists of the time had such a bleak view of human nature as Swift or Gay in his later years. The 'mad, bad and dangerous to know' Lord Byron actually seemed to enjoy life while tearing apart various contemporaries through his satire. However, this is perhaps due to the fact that his satire was nearly always aimed at individuals or very small sections of society rather than at the whole of humanity. ... Although such writings [of Swift and Gay] are enjoyable to read because of their humour and their parts which contain ironies and satire which are directed at groups which do not include ourselves, there is undoubtedly a disturbing element in the writings when we realise of what we are being accused."
Gulliver's Travels
Find the annotated electronic text of Gulliver's Travels, a timeline of the author's life and works, quotes, images, dictionary, a review of terms and concepts invented by the author for the Travels which have since entered into common use, recommended links, and a critical bibliography. Also offers answers to frequently asked questions.
Internet Public Library
Offers links to biographies, literary criticism and analysis, and electronic texts.
The Cambridge History of English and American Literature
An early twentieth century encyclopedia offers explores the author's life, works, friendships, and literary accomplishments. Also offers commentary and background information on works including Gulliver's Travels, The Tale of the Tub, The Battle of the Books, and the writer's political writings, poetic verse, and essays. On Swift's satirical style:

"Swift's style is very near perfection. Clear, pointed, precise, he seems to have no difficulty in finding words to express exactly the impression which he wishes to convey. The sentences are not always grammatically correct, but they come home to the reader, like the words of a great orator or advocate, with convincing force. He realises so clearly what he is describing that the reader is, of necessity, interested and impressed. There are no tricks of style, no recurring phrases; no ornaments, no studied effects; the object is attained without apparent effort, with an outward gravity marking the underlying satire or cynicism, and an apparent calmness concealing bitter invective. There is never any doubt of his earnestness, whatever may be the mockery on the surface. For the metaphysical and the speculative, he had no sympathy."
The Victorian Web
Find essays which explore eighteenth century English society, religion and politics, and their impact on Swift's life and works. Also offers biographies, and a small selection of literary criticism and analysis of works including Gulliver's Travels and A Modest Proposal. A useful resource for students and teachers.

"In this final book Swift seems to despair: for Gulliver, overwhelmed, as perhaps Swift himself was, by a black, misanthropic, despairing vision of reality, the only middle ground left between the dreamy utopia, the ironically 'ideal' society of the Houhynhynms, and the abyss of Yahooism seems to be a stable in England."
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March 17, 2018
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