Swift suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies. This satirical hyperbole mocks heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as Irish policy in general. In English writing, the phrase "a modest proposal" is now conventionally an allusion to this style of straight-faced satire.
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, commonly known as Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735), is a satire by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift, that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the "travellers' tales" literary subgenre. It is Swift's best known full-length work, and a classic of English literature.
My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire: I was the third of five sons. He sent me to Emanuel College in Cambridge at fourteen years old, where I resided three years, and applied myself close to my studies; but the charge of maintaining me, although I had a very scanty allowance, being too great for a narrow fortune, I was bound apprentice to Mr. James Bates, an eminent surgeon in London, with whom I continued four years. My father now and then sending me small sums of money, I laid them out in learning navigation, and other parts of the mathematics, useful to those who intend to travel, as I always believed it would be, some time or other, my fortune to do.
THE PUBLISHER TO THE READER.
A LETTER FROM CAPTAIN GULLIVER TO HIS COUSIN SYMPSON.
PART I. A VOYAGE TO LILLIPUT.
PART II. A VOYAGE TO BROBDINGNAG.
PART III. A VOYAGE TO LAPUTA, BALNIBARBI, LUGGNAGG, GLUBBDUBDRIB, AND JAPAN.
PART IV. A VOYAGE TO THE COUNTRY OF THE HOUYHNHNMS.