Jonathan Swift

Overview:

  • Legal Name: Bickerstaff, Isaac
  • Place of Birth: Ireland
  • Date of Birth: November 30, 1667
  • Date of Death: October 19, 1745
  • Pseudonym:

Notes:

In 1688, while a student at Trinity College in Dublin, the anti-Catholic Revolution occurred in England, causing an Irish Catholic backlash. Swift, an Anglican, went to England for safety, where he joined the household of Sir William Temple. He served as Temple's secretary for two years, and had access to Temple's large library, which he used to further his education. Upon Temple's death in 1699, Swift returned to Ireland as a chaplain and secretary to the Earl of Berkeley. The position gave Swift reason to freely travel between Ireland and London, where he built a reputation through his essays and poems. In 1710 Swift returned to London and became the chief political writer of the Tory ministry, taking over the The Examiner. His efforts there lead to his becoming Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin in 1713 (Swift was an ordained priest). After the death of Queen Anne in 1714, the Tory party collapsed, and Swift returned to Ireland, where he wrote a number of works, most significantly Gulliver's Travels.

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