Jonathan Swift

Novelist, Author

1667 – 1745


Who was Jonathan Swift?

Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.

He is remembered for works such as Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, and A Tale of a Tub. Swift is probably the foremost prose satirist in the English language, and is less well known for his poetry. Swift originally published all of his works under pseudonyms – such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, MB Drapier – or anonymously. He is also known for being a master of two styles of satire: the Horatian and Juvenalian styles.

Famous Quotes:

  • The two maxims of any great man at court are, always to keep his countenance and never to keep his work.
  • I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.
  • A footman may swear; but he cannot swear like a lord. He can swear as often: but can he swear with equal delicacy, propriety, and judgment?
  • Reason is a very light rider, and easily shook off.
  • Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.
  • I never saw, heard, nor read, that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular, but some degree of persecution.
  • What they do in heaven we are ignorant of; what they do not do we are told expressly.
  • Nor do they trust their tongue alone, but speak a language of their own; can read a nod, a shrug, a look, far better than a printed book; convey a libel in a frown, and wink a reputation down.
  • Human brutes, like other beasts, find snares and poison in the provision of life, and are allured by their appetites to their destruction.
  • It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death, should ever have been designed by providence as an evil to mankind.


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Jonathan Swift." STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 3 Jul 2020. <>.

Discuss this Jonathan Swift biography with the community:

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Nov 30, 1667
Also known as
  • Dean Swift
  • M.B. Drapier
  • Lemuel Gulliver
  • Isaac Bickerstaff
  • Anglicanism
  • Republic of Ireland
  • United Kingdom
  • University of Dublin
    (1671 - )
  • Hertford College, Oxford
    ( - 1694)
  • Trinity College, Dublin
  • University of Oxford
  • M.A.
  • Deans of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
    (1713 - )
Lived in
  • County Dublin
  • Whitehaven, Cumbria
    (1668 - 1671)
Oct 19, 1745
Resting place
St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin

on July 23, 2013