A Modest Proposal

Lulu Press, Inc

A Modest Proposal is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in 1729. Swift suggests that impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies.[2] This satirical hyperbole mocks heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as Irish policy in general. Readers unacquainted with its reputation as a satirical work often do not immediately realize that Swift was not seriously proposing cannibalism and infanticide, nor would readers unfamiliar with the satires of Horace and Juvenal recognize that Swift's essay follows the rules and structure of Latin satires. Swift goes to great lengths to support his argument, including a list of possible preparation styles for the children, and calculations showing the financial benefits of his suggestion. He uses methods of argument throughout his essay which lampoon then-influential William Petty and the social engineering popular among followers of Francis Bacon.
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Publisher
Lulu Press, Inc
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Published on
Jan 11, 2013
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Pages
13
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ISBN
9781105544934
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Best remembered as the author of Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift was a Dublin native whose political pamphleteering led to a London-based position as editor of a conservative periodical. This journal, written between 1710–1713, consists of 65 letters to his friend and protégée, Esther "Stella" Johnson, and her companion, Rebecca Dingley. The letters sparkle with the satirist's renowned wit and offer an intimate account of the personalities, politics, and drama of Queen Anne's court.
Swift was Stella's tutor when she was a child, and the pair formed a lifelong attachment. In contrast to the grand epistles Swift exchanged with Alexander Pope and John Gay, the letters to Stella were written with no thought of their eventual publication. Full of court gossip, bawdy jokes, and baby talk, they reveal the author's opinions, hopes, and disappointments with the immediacy and energy of real conversation. Swift offers tart assessments of the Duke of Marlborough ("covetous as Hell, and ambitious as the prince of it"), the Duke of Newcastle's daughter ("handsome, and has good sense, but red hair"), and other prominent figures of the era, including writers Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, and William Congreve. Details of his everyday activities — scrounging for dinner invitations, quarrels with his manservant, laments over the price of periwigs, coal, sedan-chairs, and other essentials — offer insights into eighteenth-century London life. Just as Swift's literary works reveal his wit and genius, his lively and affectionate letters provide glimpses of his very soul.
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