Written by Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels is the story of the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, the narrator and protagonist of the story. Gulliver is a married surgeon from Nottinghamshire, England, who has a taste for traveling. He works as a surgeon on ships and eventually becomes a ship captain. Through one unfortunate event at sea to the next, Gulliver finds himself stranded in foreign lands and absurd situations, from being captured by the miniature Lilliputians to befriending talking horses, the Houyhnhnms. Although Gulliver's vivid and detailed storytelling makes it clear that he is intelligent and well-educated, his perceptions are naïve and gullible. Gulliver never thinks that the absurdities he encounters are funny, and never makes the satiric connections between the lands he visits and his own home.
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was an Irish poet and satirical writer. When the spread of Catholicism in Ireland became prevalent, Swift moved to England, where he lived and worked as a writer. Due to the controversial nature of his work, Swift often wrote under pseudonyms. In addition to his poetry and satirical prose, Swift also wrote for political pamphlets and since many of his works provided political commentary this was a fitting career stop for Swift. When he returned to Ireland, he was ordained as a priest in the Anglican church. Despite this, his writings stirred controversy about religion and prevented him from advancing in the clergy.