A PortraitBook - 1999
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) is an inexhaustibly intriguing figure in literary and political history. He was an ordained clergyman whose enemies thought he did not believe in God. He became a legendary Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, and for four intoxicating years he was the intimate of Queen Anne's chief ministers, acting as their publicist and propagandist. His private life was intense and enigmatic. Two younger women, whom he called Stella and Vanessa, moved to Ireland to be close to him. He made both of them unhappy. Poet, polemicist, pamphleteer, and wit, Swift was the master of shock. His furious satirical responses to the corruption and hypocrisy he saw around him in private and public life have every relevance for our own times. Like his Gulliver in the land of Lilliput, Swift is a problem in perspective and scale. In this entertaining biography, Glendinning takes a literary zoom lens to illuminate this proud and intractable man.
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday Canada, 1999, c1998
Characteristics: xii, 324 p.,  p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm