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Jonathan Swift
Irish Writer (1667-1745)

Jonathan Swift was a noted Irish literary figure from the 17th Century to the 18th Century. Swift was equally well known as a cleric, satirist, essayist, and political writer and to a somewhat lesser extent as a poet. Among his many famous literary accomplishments were Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, The Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, and A Tale of a Tub. Arguably the most accomplished satirist in the English language, much of Jonathan Swift's published works were released under a variety of pseudonyms.

These pseudonyms were Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff and M.B. Drapier. Throughout his literary career Swift has even been known to publish works anonymously.

Jonathan Swift was born on November 30, 1667 in Hoey's Court in Dublin, Ireland to Jonathan and Abigail Erick (alternatively spelled as Herrick) Swift. He was the only son and was the second child in the family. Only his father was actually of Irish origin his mother being of English descent. Jonathan Swift never met his father, as the senior Swift died a mere seven months before Jonathan was born.

Like many important historical figures that lived during that time, many details of Jonathan Swift's childhood were shrouded in obscurity and the little details that were known about his early life tended to be vague and contradictory. Many historical researchers believe though that shortly after his birth, Jonathan's mother returned to England and left the task of raising Jonathan to his father's next of kin.

His uncle Godwin played a major role in the upbringing of young Jonathan and was largely responsible for his educational well being, sending him to Kilkenny Grammar School along with one of Jonathan's cousins. Jonathan later went on to pursue his higher education in Trinity College in Dublin University, Ireland where he attended beginning in the year 1682 and received his B.A. in 1686.

Swift was in the midst of pursuing his master studies when the political conflicts which were brewing for many years in Ireland finally erupted into the Glorious Revolution and he was forced to relocate to England. Arriving there in 1688, Swift with the help of his mother was able to secure the position of secretary and personal assistant to Sir William Temple of Moor Park.

Swift rapidly gained the confidence of Temple and he was often assigned duties of great importance. After only three years of working for Temple, Swift was then introduced to King William III and he often served as an emissary to the King.

Health reasons forced Swift to go back to Ireland in 1690 although the following year would find him back in England where he received his M.A. from Hertford College in Oxford University in 1692.

He again returned to Ireland this time staying for four years during which time he became an ordained priest of the Established Church of Ireland. In 1696 he went back to England to work under Temple once more and stayed there until his employer's death.

Jonathan Swift died in October 19, 1745.

Original Authors: Doods Pangburn
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris

Updated On:
21/07/2008



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