When Jonathan Swift published his first poem, the great poet (and distant relative) John Dryden is said to have remarked, "Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet."
Little did he know that Swift would go on to become a master satirist. In his first essay, A Modest Proposal, Swift mocked the authority of British officials by suggesting that Ireland's poor escape poverty by selling their children as food for the wealthy. "I have been assured ??? that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled."
But it is the fantastic adventures in Gulliver's Travels, a brilliant combination of humor and philosophy, for which Swift is best remembered. Considered a classic almost as soon as it was published, Lemuel Gulliver takes us traveling to distant lands such as Lilliput, where people are 6 inches tall, and has never been out of print since it first hit shelves in 1726. Gulliver's Travels remains one of literature's most durable masterpieces.