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The principle of the power of the pen comes from a play titled “Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy” written in 1839 with the suggestion that “The pen is mightier than the sword”.
Jonathan Swift is primarily remembered for “Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World”; better known as “Gulliver’s Travels”. What is less well-known of Swift is that he was and is a revered Irish hero, a man blessed with the power of the pen.
The climax of Damrosch’s biography is Swift’s publication of “Gulliver’s Travels”. Swift’s dissection of societies’ follies is as relevant today as it was in the 18th century. One might argue that “A Tale of a Tub” is equally important but “Gulliver’s Travels” resonates with all who read for pleasure, politics, or enlightenment. “A Tale of a Tub” is trapped in the time of its writing.
There are other biographical details about Swift’s life, and Swift’s idiosyncratic habits but power of the pen is the thematic giant in Damrosch’s book. Damrosch shows how Swift became a feared satirist by England’s leaders.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
I stopped listening as it was too snooty for my taste. I am glad I don't live in the 18th century.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful
But please learn how to pronounce Gifford.
It's G as in golf; not G as in gel.
Interesting text, occasionally spoiled by the American narrator's mispronunciations of English place and family names.