Books: A Conjur'd Spirit

JONATHAN SWIFT by Nigel Dennis. 160 pages. Macmillan. $3.95.

Jonathan Swift is the Lucifer of British letters. Unfortunately, posterity has precautiously trimmed the old devil's toenails. As traditionally abridged, Gulliver's Travels is a charming classic for children. Yet Gulliver unexpurgated is no tale for tender ears; it is a ferocious assault on the human species. And Swift unsweetened is no nursery rhymester; he is the most powerful ironist since Aristophanes, the blackest of all the great blackguards who have lacerated the conscience of mankind.

Fearful Contradictions. Like Moses from the mountain, Swift came...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!