Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin in 1667, of English parents, and was educated there. He went to England in 1688, at the time of Glorious Revolution. He started to work for Sir William Temple, who encouraged him to write his first satirical works: “The Battle of the Books”, that speaks about the merit of ancient and modern literature, and “A Tale of a Tube”, that speaks about the superstition of the Catholics and the fanatism of the Dissenters.
In 1694 Swift returned to Ireland and became an Anglican priest. From 1708 to 1714 he was chiefly in London but in April 1713 he was made Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin and he remained here for thirty years. After a few years he started to write pamphlets like “The Drapier’s Letters”(1724) in which Drapier, the first character, attacks the government’s proposal for a new coinage that would have increased poverty in Ireland. In 1726 he published his masterpiece, “Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World”, known as “Gulliver’s Travels”. In 1729 Swift printed “A Modest Proposal” in which he, with irony and bittereness, suggested that the poverty of the people should be alleviated by the sale of their children as food for the rich.
In the last years Swift was struck by labyrintine vertigo and by deafness, and he died in 1745.