Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World
All Library locations are closed today, Monday, September 1, in observance of Labor Day.
Jonathan Swift is known today as the author of Gulliver’s Travels, the classic satiric fantasy. But during his lifetime, Swift was famous as a major political and religious figure and as a national hero who fiercely protested English exploitation of his native Ireland.
In a discussion of his new book, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography, Harvard’s Leo Damrosch shows how Swift’s public version of his life — the one accepted until recently — was deliberately misleading.
Damrosch is Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature emeritus at Harvard. In May 2011 he spoke at the Library about his book on Alexis de Tocqueville.