Happy Birthday Jonathan Swift – Political Satirist

One of the real original Muckrakers, Jonathan Swift was born today, November 30th, 1667. Best known for his allegorical novel Gulliver’s Travels where he satires human nature. This journey examining he various types of people was an immediate hit. It has graced the silver screen three times, in 1939, 1977, and 2010.

He has an interesting history coming from quite the pedigree of writing stock. From Wikipedia:first edition guilliver's travels

Jonathan Swift was born on 30 November 1667 in Dublin, Ireland. He was the second child and only son of Jonathan Swift (1640–1667) and his wife Abigail Erick (or Herrick), of Frisby on the Wreake.[4] His father, a native of Goodrich, Herefordshire, accompanied his brothers to Ireland to seek their fortunes in law after their Royalist father’s estate was brought to ruin during the English Civil War. Swift’s father died in Dublin about seven months before he was born.[5][6] His mother returned to England after his birth, leaving him in the care of his influential uncle, Godwin, a close friend and confidant of Sir John Temple, whose son later employed Swift as his secretary.

Swift’s family had several interesting literary connections: his grandmother, Elizabeth (Dryden) Swift, was the niece of Sir Erasmus Dryden, grandfather of the poet John Dryden. The same grandmother’s aunt, Katherine (Throckmorton) Dryden, was a first cousin of Elizabeth, wife of Sir Walter Raleigh. His great-great grandmother, Margaret (Godwin) Swift, was the sister of Francis Godwin, author of The Man in the Moone which influenced parts of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. His uncle, Thomas Swift, married a daughter of the poet and playwright Sir William Davenant, a godson of William Shakespeare.

You can find the public domain mp3 Audiobook for download here, and a reading on YouTube below.