Books

Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift

In the strange countries of Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa and the land of the Houyhnhnms, Gulliver meets some extraordinary people and remarkable creatures. From a race of miniature folk to some surprisingly gentle giants and wise horses, Gulliver sees society from many different perspectives. Back in England life seems very ordinary after all his experiences, but Gulliver's fantastic adventures change his views on human behaviour forever.

A Modest Proposal

Jonathan Swift

'... a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food...'

Swift's devastating short satire on how to solve a famine

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745). Swift's works available in Penguin Classics are Gulliver's Travels and A Modest Proposal and Other Writings.

Ladybird Classics: Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift (and others)

This beautiful hardback Ladybird Classic edition of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift is a perfect first illustrated introduction to the classic story for younger readers.
It has been sensitively abridged and retold to make it suitable for sharing with young children from 5+, whilst retaining all the key parts of Gulliver's travels and adventures in the strange lands of Lilliput and Brobdingnag. Detailed full-colour illustrations throughout also help to bring this classic tale to life.

Other exciting titles in the Ladybird Classics series include Alice in Wonderland, Black Beauty, The Secret Garden, Oliver Twist and Treasure Island.

Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift

The Penguin English Library Edition of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

'Fifteen hundred of the Emperor's largest horses, each about four inches and an half high, were employed to draw me towards the Metropolis, which, as I said, was half a Mile distant'

A savage and hilarious satire, Gulliver's Travels sees Lemuel Gulliver shipwrecked and adrift, subject to bizarre and unnerving encounters with, among others, quarrelling Lilliputians, philosophizing horses and the brutish Yahoo tribe, that change his view of humanity - and himself - for ever. Swift's classic of 1726 portrays mankind in a distorted hall of mirrors as a diminished, magnified and finally bestial species, presenting us with a comical yet uncompromising reflection of ourselves.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design.

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.

A Modest Proposal and Other Writings

Jonathan Swift (and others)

The Penguin Classics edition of Jonathan Swift's savagely satirical A Modest Proposal and Other Writings is edited with an introduction and notes by Carol Fabricant.

To ease poverty in Ireland by eating the children of the poor was the satirical 'solution' suggested by Jonathan Swift in his essay 'A Modest Proposal' (1729). Here Swift unleashes the full power of his ironic armoury and corrosive wit, finding his targets - the British ruling class and avaricious landlords, and the brutalized Irish, complicit in their own oppression - with deadly precision. His masterly essay is accompanied by a generous selection of prose works, among them pamphlets attacking British rule in his native Ireland, periodical essays critiquing the new capitalist and military classes, a journal detailing his political activities in London, a loving tribute to his beloved 'Stella' after her death and pieces on such diverse subjects as the absurdities of astrology, the joys of punning and comical rules for servants. Ingenious and unconventional, Swift is revealed here as one of the greatest satirists in the English language.

In her introduction to this new edition, Carol Fabricant discusses Swift's life and turbulent times, his political views and his powers as a writer of complex irony and intricate word play. This volume also includes a chronology, further reading, a glossary, notes and a biographical dictionary.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was born in Dublin. Sent to Kilkenny Grammar School when he was six, Swift later attended Trinity College, Dublin, where he received his BA degree in 1686. He is considered the foremost prose satirist in the English language, which stemmed from his criticism of Britain's repressive colonial policies in Ireland. Among Swift's best known works are his ironic masterpiece, 'A Modest Proposal' (1729), and his novel, Gulliver's Travels (1726).

If you enjoyed A Modest Proposal, you might like Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock and Other Major Writings, also available in Penguin Classics.

Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift

In the course of his famous travels, Gulliver is captured by miniature people who wage war on each other because of religious disagreement over how to crack eggs, is sexually assaulted by giants, visits a floating island, and decides that the society of horses is better than that of his fellow man. Swift's tough, filthy and incisive satire has much to say about the state of the world today and is presented here in its unexpurgated entirety.

A Tale of a Tub

Jonathan Swift

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.

Biography

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 became popular in Ireland as a patriotic writer.

Swift was always afraid of madness and often suffered from depression; he suffered serious ill health in his last years. He wrote many volumes of prose and poetry but his best-known work is Gulliver's Travels in which he turned 'traveller's tales' into a biting satire on contemporary life. It has appealed to a wide range of readers over the years, including in its abridged form many children. As well as being a satire it is an exciting story, funny and very inventive.