Memorable Quotations: Jonathan Swift
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Born in Dublin, Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was an Anglo-Irish writer and maestro of satire. His initial works were The Battle of the Books, espousing the supremacy of the ancients to the moderns, and Tale of a Tub, a satire on religious overindulgences; both were published in 1704. Swift was enthusiastic in Whig politics with Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, but turned against the party over its antagonism to the Anglican Church. Pamphlets on clerical and political matters, in which he generally backed the Tories, occupied him from 1708 to 1714. In 1714 he was made dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. He became a champion to the Irish with his Drapier's Letters (1724) and the ferocious Modest Proposal (1729), in which he incongruously promoted the breeding of Irish babies to be fed to the rich as a way of decreasing Ireland's poverty. His magnum opus, Gulliver's Travels (1726), a vicious satire on human foolhardiness and 18th Century England, is matchless in the passion of its moralism. Paradoxically, it was later turned into an abridged children's story.
Carol Dingle is a former English teacher, USO director, business owner, and world traveler.
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