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Bio of Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin on November 30, 1667. His father had died before his birth, and soon after he was born, his mother returned to Leicestershire. He was left in the care of his three uncles, particularly his Uncle Godwin. It is believed that this situation, along with his unstable homelife, led to a sense of insecurity and abandonment that he carried with him for the rest of his life. At age 6, he was sent to the best school in Ireland, the Kilkenny School. Then at age 15 he entered Trinity College, located in Dublin. He did not pay much attention to his studies, and in 1686 he received his degree speciali grata (by special favor). He continued studies at Trinity in hopes of gaining an advanced degree, but because of political unrest he was forced to move to England in 1689. In England, he worked as a secretary to Sir William Temple at Moor Park, Surrey. Swift worked with Temple, a diplomat and writer who was preparing his memoirs, for the next 10 years. It was here that he met Esther Johnson, the love of his life, whom he nicknamed Stella. Simultaneously, he attended Oxford where he receive his M.A. in 1692. He wished to enter politics but settled instead for the church, in which he was ordained in 1694. In January of 1695 he was ordained priest , Prebend of Kilroot. In 1697 he wrote The Battle of the Books, which was later published in 1704. In the later 1690s he wrote The Tale of the Tub, his first published work. When Temple died in 1699, Swift went back to England as chaplain to the Earl of Berkely. In 1700, he became one of the canons of St. Patricks Cathedral and wrote articles and letters for the English Whigs. In 1702 he moved back to England in hope of political appointment, and it was here that he published A Tale of the Tub. It was a satire on corruption in religion and learning. Battle of the Books was a mock heroic satire. The dazzling irony of these works earned him notoriety but no appointment. The Bicke...

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