A Tale of a Tub
Free

A Tale of a Tub

By Jonathan Swift
Free
Book Description

A Tale of a Tub was the first major work written by Jonathan Swift, arguably his most difficult satire and perhaps his most masterly. The Tale is a prose parody divided into sections of "digression" and a "tale" of three brothers, each representing one of the main branches of western Christianity. Composed between 1694 and 1697, it was eventually published in 1704. It was long regarded as a satire on religion, and has famously been attacked for that, starting with William Wotton.
The "tale" presents a consistent satire of religious excess, while the digressions are a series of parodies of contemporary writing in literature, politics, theology, Biblical exegesis, and medicine. The overarching parody is of enthusiasm, pride, and credulity. At the time it was written, politics and religion were still closely linked in England, and the religious and political aspects of the satire can often hardly be separated. "The work made Swift notorious, and was widely misunderstood, especially by Queen Anne herself who mistook its purpose for profanity." "It effectively disbarred its author from proper preferment within the church," but is considered one of Swift's best allegories, even by himself. It was enormously popular, but Swift believed it damaged his prospect of advancement in the Church of England.

From Wikipedia (CC BY-SA).

Table of Contents
  • A TALE OF A TUB AND THE HISTORY OF MARTIN
  • CONTENTS.
  • A TALE OF A TUB.
    • ORIGINAL ADVERTISEMENT.
    • TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE JOHN LORD SOMERS.
    • THE BOOKSELLER TO THE READER.
    • THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE POSTERITY.
    • THE PREFACE.
    • SECTION I. THE INTRODUCTION.
    • SECTION II.
    • SECTION III. A DIGRESSION CONCERNING CRITICS.
    • SECTION IV. A TALE OF A TUB.
    • SECTION V. A DIGRESSION IN THE MODERN KIND.
    • SECTION VI. A TALE OF A TUB.
    • SECTION VII. A DIGRESSION IN PRAISE OF DIGRESSIONS.
    • SECTION VIII. A TALE OF A TUB.
    • SECTION IX. A DIGRESSION CONCERNING THE ORIGINAL, THE USE, AND IMPROVEMENT OF MADNESS IN A COMMONWEALTH.
    • SECTION X. A FARTHER DIGRESSION.
    • SECTION XI. A TALE OF A TUB.
    • THE CONCLUSION.
  • THE HISTORY OF MARTIN.
    • A DIGRESSION ON THE NATURE, USEFULNESS, AND NECESSITY OF WARS AND QUARRELS.
    • THE HISTORY OF MARTIN—Continued.
    • A PROJECT FOR THE UNIVERSAL BENEFIT OF MANKIND.
  • FOOTNOTES.
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