Engraved frontispiece portrait of Captain Gulliver (in the second state as usual), 5 engraved maps & one engraved plate of t
by [Swift, Jonathan]
London: Benjamin Motte, 1726. Second edition (mixed state). Engraved frontispiece portrait of Captain Gulliver (in the second state as usual), 5 engraved maps & one engraved plate of the automatic writing machine. [xii], 148, [vi], 164; [vi], 154, [viii], 199, [blank] pp. 2 vols. 8vo. Contemporary paneled calf, rebacked, spines gilt with red morocco labels. Second edition (mixed state). Engraved frontispiece portrait of Captain Gulliver (in the second state as usual), 5 engraved maps & one engraved plate of the automatic writing machine. [xii], 148, [vi], 164; [vi], 154, [viii], 199, [blank] pp. 2 vols. 8vo. One of the great satires in the English language. Swift first mentioned what would become his masterpiece in a letter to Charles Ford on 15 April 1721. It wouldn't be completed and fully transcribed until August 1725, whereupon he set out to London to arrange for its publication."Gulliver's Travels is the book by which Swift is chiefly remembered, and it is the record of his own experience in politics under Queen Anne as an Irishman in what G. B. Shaw called 'John Bull's other island'. Its allegorical mode of satire constantly modulates between specific allusions and general types, reflecting characters and events traceable to prototypes in Stuart and Georgian court politics (in Lilliput and Brobdingnag), and to people and events in Swift's own personal life (the king of Brobdingnag as Temple, for example, or the Flying Island as an allegory of English imperialism in Ireland). It also includes moments of farcical low comedy in the Academy of Lagado (part 3) and elsewhere. It is in part 4 (the voyage to the land of the Houyhnhnms) that Swift reaches the supremely vexing point of his whole writing career, mixing comedy with the tragi-comic psychological collapse of Gulliver, the representative Englishman who turns his back on the whole human race because it has failed to live up to the ideal of reason" (ODNB). Teerink 290; Rothschild 2104; PMM 185 (Inventory #: 303296)
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