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Penguin English Library

Jonathan Swift

Gulliver's Travels

'Fifteen hundred of the Emperor's largest horses, each about four inches and an half high, were employed to draw me towards the Metropolis, which, as I said, was half a Mile distant.'

Shipwrecked and adrift, Lemuel Gulliver wakes on Lilliput, an island inhabited by tiny people whose height renders their political quarrels ridiculous. His subsequent encounters - with the crude giants of Brobdingnag, the philosophical Houyhnhnms and brutish Yahoos - give Gulliver new, bitter insights into human behaviour.

Swift's hugely influential and savage satire of 1726 views mankind in a distorted hall of mirrors as a diminished, magnified and finally bestial species, presenting us with an uncompromising reflection of ourselves.

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