October 13 – Drapier’s Letters

Most people know Jonathan Swift for his famous novel “Guliver’s Travels.” However, Swift also wrote other novels and even a series of politically charged pamphlets. On October 13, 1724, Swift published the last of the Drapier’s Letters. He decided to publish the letters anonymously. The letters were a plain dose of the truth to the Irish government. The letters came at a time when the Irish people were being oppressed by English rule. The English had taken away much of the Irish jurisdiction and left the Irish parliament with little power. Swift strove to awaken the patriotic values of the Irish people at a time when England was degrading the Irish people. Looking back, it is clear that England had caused Ireland to become a type of subservient nation. However, Swift not only condemned England’s actions, but also condemned the Irish’s actions against the Catholic residents. He saw clearly the hypocrisy in the Irish that led to the persecution of those who did not agree with popular Irish opinion. These letters proved to be invaluable and a treasured part of Irish culture. Even though the letters were written anonymously, it was well known that Swift was the author. In fact, there was even a 300 pound reward for the discovery of the secret author. Surprisingly, he maintained his secret. In modern Ireland, he is known almost more for these Drapier’s Letters than for his novels and short stories. They played a key part in the history of Ireland, and the Irish people cannot forget his contribution.

Sources:
http://www.libraryireland.com/HistoryIreland/Drapiers-Letters.php#2

http://www.online-literature.com/swift/drapiers-letters/0/

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