Swift is shown seated at his writing table, wearing his clerical robes and collar. He holds a leaf of paper and a quill in his hands. Although Swift’s clothing signifies his religious calling, the writing materials and books behind him – works by Aesop, Horace and Lucian – emphasise his other vocation as a man of letters, and provide literary precedence for his works of didactic social and political satire.
- Article by:
- John Mullan
- Satire and humour, Travel, colonialism and slavery, Politics and religion, Rise of the novel
Jonathan Swift initially did his best to conceal the fact that he was the author of Gulliver's Travels. John Mullan explores how Swift constructed the work to operate as an elaborate game, parodying travel literature, pretending to be an autobiography and containing obviously false facts presented by a deeply unreliable narrator.