One of the Library’s treasures is a first edition of Gulliver’s Travels, annotated by the author Jonathan Swift. Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver … (1721) (object ID P002465996) is on permanent display in the Library’s Long Room.
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Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver …, or as it is more commonly known, Gulliver’s Travels, was written by Dean Jonathan Swift and has become a classic in English and world literature. When its publication was announced in 1726, the Evening Post heralded it an ‘immediate best-seller’. The publisher, Benjamin Motte, was kept busy with the production of two more editions. By the end of the year, there were also two pirated editions in use!
The Library holds a copy of Benjamin Motte’s first edition, dated 28 October 1726. This particular copy carries amendments in Swift’s own handwriting. Besides printing errors in the first edition, publisher Motte had made some changes without Swift’s knowledge to avoid possible legal action by those people whom Swift had criticised openly. Swift was angry and made corrections in preparation for the second edition.