'Thus, gentle Reader, I have given thee a faithful History of my
Travels for Sixteen Years, and above Seven Months; wherein I have
not been so studious of Ornament as of Truth.' In these words
Gulliver represents himself as a reliable reporter of the fantastic
adventures he has just set down; but how far can we rely on a
narrator whose identity is elusive and whoses inventiveness is
self-evident? Gulliver's Travels purports to be a travel book, and
describes Gulliver's encounters with the inhabitants of four
extraordinary places: Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and the
country of the Houyhnhnms. A consummately skilful blend of fantasy
and realism makes Gulliver's Travels by turns hilarious,
frightening, and profound. Swift plays tricks on us, and delivers
one of the world's most disturbing satires of the human condition.
This new edition includes the changing frontispiece portraits of
Gulliver that appeared in successive early editions.