Gulliver’s Travels is a complex work of adventure, satire, comedy and profound philosophical exploration. For this edition we approached the artist and writer Peter Suart, whose response is at once wickedly comic and engagingly cerebral.
'Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts', purports to be the account of a voyage by a surgeon and captain, Lemuel Gulliver. In fact, this biting satire on contemporary society was the work of the Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift (1667–1745). A friend of the poet Alexander Pope and a member of the Scriblerus Club, which lampooned bad literature and scholarship, Swift was acknowledged as the greatest satirist of his age. He was the scourge of corrupt politicians and has been an inspiration for other writers from Voltaire to the present day.
Limited to 1,000 copies
Printed on Cordier Wove paper
Hand-printed etching, signed and numbered by the artist, and tipped onto a special limitation spread
17 colour plates and borders, numerous tailpieces, endpaper and binding designs all by Peter Suart
Titling calligraphy by Stephen Raw
Set in Founder’s Caslon
Gilded top edge
Presented in a solander box
13˝ × 9¾˝
A superb new limited edition of Jonathan Swift’s best-known work
‘It is universally read, from the cabinet council to the nursery.’
- John Gay
In Gulliver’s Travels the narrator visits a range of fantastic lands, bearing such outlandish names as Brobdingnag and Glubbdubdrib, and meets an array of peoples, from the belligerent Lilliputians to the gentle Houyhnhnms. Through these imaginary societies, Swift makes a veiled but unmistakable assault on contemporary institutions, including the legal profession, the press and the Whig government. First published in 1726 by a bookseller willing to risk the wrath of the authorities, Gulliver’s Travels was an overnight success, its first print run selling out within days. The book has never been out of print since.
‘For a time, he dictated the political opinions of the English nation’
- Samuel Johnson
The humour, colour and lively adventures in Gulliver’s Travels have made it a favourite for generations, while its satire continues to resonate. The true brilliance of Swift’s vision is that his target is not just the establishment, but humanity in general. After listening to Gulliver’s description of human beings, the King of Brobdingnag declares, ‘I can only conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth’. By the end of the book, Gulliver heartily agrees with him.