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Tale of a Tub

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By: (1667-1745)

A Tale of a Tub was the first major work written by Jonathan Swift, composed between 1694 and 1697, that was eventually published in 1704. It is arguably his most difficult satire, and perhaps his most masterly. The Tale is a prose parody which is divided into sections of "digression" and a "tale" of three brothers, each representing one of the main branches of western Christianity. A Tale was long regarded as a satire on religion itself, 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 linked very closely 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.

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A Tale of a Tub, by Jonathan Swift

Contents The Tale of a Tub: Advert To the Right Honourable John Lord Somers The Bookseller to The Reader The Epistle Dedicatory 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 . . . Section X. A Farther Digression Section XI. A Tale Of A Tub The Conclusion The History Of Martin The History of Martin A Digression On The Nature . . . The History Of Martin Continued A Project For The Universal Benefit Of Mankind

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Treatifes writ by the fame Author, moft of them mentioned in the following Discourfes; which will be fpeedily publifhed.

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