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About the book
  • Published: 2 November 2010
  • ISBN: 9780143119111
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $24.99

Gulliver's Travels




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.

"It is universally read, from the
cabinet council to the nursery," remarked Alexander Pope when Gulliver's Travels was published in 1726. One of the unique books of world literature, Swift's masterful satire describes the astonishing voyages of one Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon, to surreal kingdoms inhabited by miniature people and giants, quack philosophers and scientists, horses endowed with reason and men who behave like beasts. Written with great wit and invention, Gulliver's Travels is a savage parody on man and his institutions that has captivated readers for nearly three centuries.
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with afford-
able hardbound editions of impor-
tant works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-
fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring
as its emblem the running torch-
bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau-
gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.   As bestselling author and critic Allan Bloom observed: "Gulliver's Travels is an amazing rhetorical achievement. Swift had not only the judgment with which to arrive at a reasoned view of the world but the fancy by means of which he could re-create that world in a form which teaches where argument fails and which satisfies all while misleading none."

  • Pub date: 2 November 2010
  • ISBN: 9780143119111
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift was born on 30th November 1667 in Dublin, and educated at Trinity College in that city and Oxford University. He was a cousin of John Dryden. Swift's father was a lawyer who had gone to Ireland after the Restoration, but he died before his son's birth. After becoming secretary to Sir William Temple in England, Swift returned to Dublin where he was ordained. In 1713 he became dean of St Patrick's.Swift gave one third of his income to charities and used his own money to fund St Patrick's Hospital for Imbeciles. He was himself thought by many to be insane in his later years.

Although nominally a Whig, Swift became editor of the Tory journal the Examiner His first major work, A Tale of a Tub, was published 1704 and through the development of his writing career he became close friends with the poet Alexander Pope. Together with other writers, they founded a literary group called the Martinus Scriblerus Club in 1713. His political satires form a large amount of his life's work and include the famous essay, A Modest Proposal (1729), where he suggests that the solution to the starvation of the poor in Ireland is that they should eat their own children. Gulliver's Travels (1729) is the only book for which he received any money (£200) and he never wrote under his own name. It is unclear whether Swift ever formally married, but he was very close to Esther Johnson, known as Stella, whom he had met through Temple. He died in 1745 and was buried beside her in St Patrick's.

His Latin epitaph, written by himself, reads: 'Here lies the body of Jonathan Swift, D.D., dean of this cathedral, where burning indignation can no longer lacerate his heart.Go, traveller, and imitate if you can a man who was an undaunted champion of liberty.

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