One of the most well-known satirists in English literature, Jonathan Swift was born on November 30, 1667. Swift may have grown up as an insecure boy, due to the fact that his father died before his birth. He was brought up by his uncles and, in 1682, went to Trinity College in Dublin, where he did not do too well in his studies. When the revolution of 1688 took over Ireland, he went to London and became a secretary to an English statesman.
While in London, he visited Ireland twice and during the second visit, he got ordained as a clergyman; most probably an influence from his childhood, as both his grandparents had been clergymen. Between 1691-94, he wrote his early verses which were received favourably. But it was in writing prose that his genius really showed. During 1696-99, he wrote A Tale of a Tub, which was published anonymously in 1704. It was about the realm of culture being threatened by too much pedantry. In the summer of 1699, he became secretary to the Earl of Berkeley.
He wrote many satirical essays and political pamphlets. His opinions deeply influenced the government and people of Great Britain.
His book Gulliver's Travels or Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World was published in 1726. It was an instant success. It tells about the marvellous adventures of Gulliver during four voyages to strange lands.
The last years of Swift's life were full of sadness. He was mostly ill but was active most of the 1730s, and it was only after a stroke, which resulted in paralysis, that he retired in 1739. He finally died on October 19, 1745.