Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was a satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric. He originally published all of his works under pseudonyms, including Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, and MB Drapier.
He was born and schooled in Ireland, but left for England in 1688. In England, he moved in high society, and enjoyed audiences with the King. In 1694 he returned to Ireland to become an ordained priest in the Established Church of Ireland, and was appointed to a small rural parish in County Antrim. He continued to travel between England and Ireland for much of his life, ministering to small rural parishes in Ireland, producing a great many literary texts, and becoming increasingly involved in politics, in both countries.
His most famous work is Gulliver’s Travels, published as Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts, by Lemuel Gulliver. The book, published in November 1726, was an immediate hit.
Jonathan Swift died in 1745, four years before Tom Jones was published – hence the reference to ‘the late Dr. Swift.’