Gulliver's Travels Connections and Further Reading
by Jonathan Swift

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(Great Characters in Literature)

Bloom, Harold, ed. Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels.” New York: Chelsea House, 1986. A collection of criticism from the second half of the twentieth century, arranged in chronological order. Essays range from investigations of philosophical context and literary genre to psychoanalytic and deconstructionist approaches.

Brady, Frank, ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of “Gulliver’s Travels”: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968. A selection of essays examining the philosophical, religious, and scientific background of the work. Examines the literary sources and traditions the book reflects.

Carnochan, W. B. Lemuel Gulliver’s Mirror for Man. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968. Relates Swift’s satiric intention to the epistemology of John Locke to illustrate his theory of Augustan satire. An epilogue examines how Gulliver’s Travels anticipates later satirists Lewis Carroll, James Joyce, and Vladimir Nabokov.

Erskine-Hill, Howard. Jonathan Swift: “Gulliver’s Travels.” Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1993. A concise, accessible introduction. Final chapter surveys the work’s influence on fiction from Herman Melville to Nathaniel West.

Smith, Frederik N., ed. The Genres of “Gulliver’s Travels.” Newark, N.J.: University of Delaware Press, 1990. A collection of previously unpublished essays, each taking the standpoint of a different literary genre. An afterword suggests how the reader might navigate the work, given the multiplicity of genres it represents. Assumed is the basic indeterminacy of texts.

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Novels for Students)


Erskine-Hill, Howard. Swift, Gulliver’s Travels. (Landmarks of World Literature) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Michael Foote, Introduction to Gulliver's Travels (includes quotes from early reviews), Penguin Books, 1985.

William Hazlitt, "On Swift, Young, Gray, Collins, Etc.," in his Lectures on the English Poets, 1818, reprinted by Oxford University Press, 1924, pp. 160-89.

Samuel Holt Monk, "The Pride of Lemuel Gulliver," in Gulliver's Travels: A Norton Critical Edition, 2nd Edition, edited by Robert A. Greenberg, 1961 and 1970, pp. 312-330.

Probyn, Clive T. Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels. (Penguin Critical Series) London: Penguin Books, 1989

Sir Walter Scott, extract from The Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Dean of St. Patrick's Dublin: Life of Swift, Vol. 1, 2nd edition, A. Constable & Co., reprinted in Swift: The Critical Heritage, edited by Kathleen Williams, Barnes & Noble, 1970.

Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels. Edited by Peter Dixon and John Chalker; with introduction by Michael Foot. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1967.

William Makepeace Thackeray, in his English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century, Smith, Elder & Co., 1853, reprinted in his The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century: The Four Georges, Etc., Macmillan, 1904, pp. 1-32.

Tippett, Brian. Gulliver’s Travels (The Critics Debate). Atlantic Highlands, N.J. Humanities Press International, 1989.

For Further Study

Frank Brady, "Vexations and Diversion: Three Problems in Gulliver's Travels," in Modern Philology: A Journal Devoted to Research in Medieval and Modern Literature, Vol. 75, 1978, pp. 346-367. A good overview of approaches to Gulliver's Travels and an analysis of the humor, the sense of historical degeneration, and Swift's true intentions. A "soft" school interpretation.

Arthur E. Case, "The Significance of Gulliver's Travels," in Four Essays on Gulliver's Travels," Princeton University Press, 1945, pp. 97-126. A critical assessment of the book Gulliver's Travels.

J. A. Downie, "Political Characterization in Gulliver's Travels," in Yearbook of English Studies, Vol. 7, 1977, pp. 108-120. Downie argues against the usual reading of Gulliver's Travels as a political allegory by demonstrating how such a reading fails in all four books.

Jenny Mezciems, "Swift's Praise of Gulliver: Some Renaissance Background to the Travels," in The Character of Swift's Satire: A Revised Focus , edited by...

(The entire section is 1,718 words.)