Jonathan Swift

(2483 words)
  • Paul Baines (University of Liverpool)

Jonathan Swift was born on 30 November 1667, in Dublin. His father, also Jonathan, who had emigrated from England to Ireland in 1660, died before he was born. His mother, Abigail Erick, had been born in Ireland. Swift was thus by birth a member of the protestant ascendancy which ruled an Ireland then largely under the administrative sway of England, though during his youth that position was complicated by the dynastic problems and Catholic leanings of Charles II and James II, and the ongoing struggle for power between the monarch and men of property. Before Swift was a year old, he was taken to England by his nurse, and remained apart from his mother for three years. From 1673 to 1682 he was educated at Kilkenny School, an Anglican …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Baines, Paul. "Jonathan Swift". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]

Articles on Swift's works

  1. A Modest Proposal
  2. A Tale of a Tub
  3. Gulliver's Travels
  4. Journal to Stella
  5. The Examiner