A wickedly clever satire uses comic inversions to offer telling insights into the nature of man and society, the Penguin Classics edition of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels is edited with an introduction and notes by Robert Demaria, Jr. Gulliver's Travels describes the four voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon. In Lilliput he discovers a world in miniature; towering over the people and their city, he is able to view their society from the viewpoint of a god. However, in Brobdingnag, a land of giants, tiny Gulliver himself comes under observation, exhibited as a curiosity at markets and fairs. In Laputa, a flying island, he encounters a society of speculators and projectors who have lost all grip on everyday reality; while they plan and calculate, their country lies in ruins. Gulliver's final voyage takes him to the land of the Houyhnhnms, gentle horses whom he quickly comes to admire - in contrast to the Yahoos, filthy bestial creatures who bear a disturbing resemblance to humans. This text, based on the first edition of 1726, reproduces all the original illustrations and includes an introduction by Robert Demaria, Jr, which discusses the ways Gulliver's Travels has been interpreted since its first publication. 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 is his ironic masterpiece, 'A Modest Proposal' (1729), and his novel, Gulliver's Travels (1726). If you enjoyed Gulliver's Travels, you might like H.G. Wells's The Time Machine, also available in Penguin Classics. 'A masterwork of irony ... that contains both a dark and bitter meaning and a joyous, extraordinary creativity of imagination' Malcolm Bradbury.
About the Author
Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 - 19 October 1745) 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 Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity and A Tale of a Tub. He is regarded by the Encyclopaedia 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, MB Drapier - or anonymously. He is also known for being a master of two styles of satire, the Horatian and Juvenalian styles.
Robert DeMaria Jr. is Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English at Vassar College.
Duncan Wu is a Fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford, and University Lecturer in English Literature.
Robert DeMaria received his PhD in Modern British Literature at Columbia University. He has directed writing programs in several universities and was an editor at Macmillan. The bulk of his creative work consists of his 20 novels, but he has also published poetry, an off-Broadway play, and a libretto for an opera. For several years he was the academic dean of the New School for Social Research. He was also the director of an overseas program for American students and writers in residence. His work has been highly praised in publications such as THE LONDON TIMES, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE BOSTON GLOBE, THE WASHINGTON POST, and many literary magazines. He and his family now divide their time between Long Island and a house in Mallorca, Spain. His latest novel is BLEECKER STREET BLUES, set in Greenwich Village.