Lifetime: 1667 - 1745 Passed: ≈ 278 years ago


Satirist, Essayist, Political Pamphleteer, Poet, Priest



Jonathan Swift

Swift is remembered for works such as A Tale of a Tub (1704), An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity (1712), Gulliver's Travels (1726), and A Modest Proposal (1729). He is regarded by the Encyclopædia Britannica as the foremost prose satirist in the English language, and is less well known for his poetry. He originally published all of his works under pseudonyms – such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, M. B. Drapier – or anonymously. He was a master of two styles of satire, the Horatian and Juvenalian styles.

His deadpan, ironic writing style, particularly in A Modest Proposal, has led to such satire being subsequently termed "Swiftian".

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.

Books by Jonathan Swift

Gulliver's Travels Cover image

Gulliver's Travels

Satire Fantasy
Parable Science Fiction Voyage

Comprised of four parts, Gulliver’s Travels documents the bizarre, yet fascinating voyages of Lemuel Gulliver as he makes his way through several uncharted destinations, experiencing the lives of the small, the giant, the scientific, and downright ec...

A Modest Proposal Cover image

A Modest Proposal

Satire Essays
Poverty Greed Suffering Humanity

A Modest Proposal For preventing the Children of Poor People From being a Burthen to 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 publi...

A Tale of a Tub Cover image

A Tale of a Tub

Satire Tragedy
Pride Madness Prose

A Tale of a Tub. Written for the Universal Improvement of Mankind. was the first major work written by Jonathan Swift, arguably his most difficult satire and perhaps his most masterly. The Tale is a prose parody divided into sections each delving int...

The Battle of the Books Cover image

The Battle of the Books

Idealism Ancient Literature Struggle Modern

"The Battle of the Books" depicts a literal battle between books in the King's Library (housed in St James's Palace at the time of the writing), as ideas and authors struggle for supremacy. Because of the satire, "The Battle of the Books" has become...

Advice to the Grub Street Verse-writers Cover image

Advice to the Grub Street Verse-writers

LibriVox volunteers bring you 9 different recordings of Advice to the Grub Street Verse-writers by Jonathan Swift. This was the weekly poetry project for the week of February 24th, 2008.

Gulliver's Travels in Lilliput and Brobdingnag, Told to the Children Cover image

Gulliver's Travels in Lilliput and Brobdingnag, Told to the Children

This is a children's version of Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels, from the Told to the Children Series (published in 1910). The children's adventure story covers Gulliver's visits to the lands of Lilliput and Brobdingnag. (Summary by Laurie...

Gulliver’s Reizen Cover image

Gulliver’s Reizen

Gulliver's reizen is een satirisch boek uit 1726 van de Ierse schrijver Jonathan Swift. Het oorspronkelijke boek bevatte vier reisbeschrijvingen, waarvan alleen de eerste, over het land Lilliput, nu nog grote bekendheid geniet. In deze uitgave zijn...

Gullivers Rejser Cover image

Gullivers Rejser

Denne udgivelse af Gullivers Rejser indeholder 1. bog - Rejse til Lilliput og 2. bog - Rejse til Brobdingnag kæmpernes land. Oprindeligt tæller Gullivers Rejser flere bøger, men det er kun de to første, der er udgivet på dansk. Jonathan Swift beskri...

On A Shadow In A Glass Cover image

On A Shadow In A Glass

Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for the Whigs, then for the Tories), poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. Swift is remembered for works such as Gulliver's Travels, A Mo...

Poems of Jonathan Swift, Volume One Cover image

Poems of Jonathan Swift, Volume One

Sit back and listen to these light-hearted witty rhymes and see the world Jonathan Swift saw -- and maybe recognize your own. Think there is such a thing as corrupt rich guys who pretend they're God's gift to the world? So did Swift. Think some of th...

Poems of Jonathan Swift, Volume Two Cover image

Poems of Jonathan Swift, Volume Two

He lived simply, loved his walks and craved the company of fellow poetical wits as they craved his company in return. With his pal Dr. Sheridan, for one, Jonathan Swift delighted in the 18th century equivalent of a rap off – going back and forth in d...

Gulliverin matkat kaukaisilla mailla Cover image

Gulliverin matkat kaukaisilla mailla

Tämä on Jonathan Swiftin kirjoittama ja Samuli Suomalaisen kääntämä versio kirjasta "Gulliverin matkat kaukaisilla mailla". Se on suunnattu nuorille ja sisältää vain kaksi ensimmäistä osaa, kun täydessä versiossa osia on neljä. Ensimmäisessä osassa G...

Viajes de Gulliver a diversos países remotos Cover image

Viajes de Gulliver a diversos países remotos

Los Viajes de Gulliver pertenece al género fantástico y es unn serie de viajes imaginarios, que leídos en profundidad, constituye una de las mejores sátiras que se han escrito. Swift escribió los Viajes de Gulliver, desde la experiencia de Swift con...

Gullivers Reisen Cover image

Gullivers Reisen

Einer der Klassiker der Weltliteratur, der seit Generationen Groß und Klein fesselt: Lemuel Gulliver bereist ferne Länder und erlebt dabei unerhörte Abenteuer, er trifft auf phantastische Einwohner unbekannter, ferner Gegenden, wobei alle diese skurr...

Bettesworth's Exultation Cover image

Bettesworth's Exultation

LibriVox volunteers bring you 8 recordings of Bettesworth's Exultation Upon hearing that his name would be transmitted to posterity in Dr. Swift's works, by William Dunkin by Jonathan Swift. This was the Weekly Poetry project for September 15, 2019....

Market Women's Cries Cover image

Market Women's Cries

LibriVox volunteers bring you 11 recordings of Market Women's Cries by Jonathan Swift. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for September 23, 2019. ------ Here is another Jonathan Swift poem, this time he reflects on the old English Market an...

Description Of A City Shower Cover image

Description Of A City Shower

LibriVox volunteers bring you 7 recordings of A Description Of A City Shower by Jonathan Swift. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for January 26, 2020. ------ You don't find a weather forecast like this local media. - Summary by David La...