Gulliver’s Travels

Plate from Gulliver's Travels illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

Plate from Gulliver’s Travels illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

The Hesburgh Special Collections has an excellent collection of Jonathan Swift. The collection was developed from two main sources, the Vienken Collection and the Michael Foot Collection.

The collection of Gulliver’s Travels spans a couple of centuries, from the earliest editions printed in 1726 and 1727 to illustrated editions of the twentieth century.

I’m preparing for a class visit, and selecting the editions to have on view.  There are so many!  I should select one early edition, one translation, and one or two later illustrated editions.  Below are some of the editions currently on my shelf:

Thomson endGulliver’s travels into several remote nations of the world by Jonathan Swift; with a memoir of the author ; illustrated with upwards of 300 wood-engravings, from designs by J.G. Thomson, engraved by W.L. Thomas.London: S.O. Beeton, [1864?]

Even the “memoir of the author” is illustrated.



Gulliver’s travels into several remote regions of the world: in four parts by Jonathan Swift; illustrated by above 100 designs by Gordon Browne. London : Blackie, 1886.

This one is “adapted and edited for youth”.


French 1813Voyages de Gulliver traduits de l’anglais de Swift par l’abbé Des Fontaine. Paris : Chez Billois, 1813.

This translation was first published in France in 1727.

The bibliography of Swift, frequently referred to as “Teerink”, whose numbers are used to identify various editions, is available for use in the Special Collections Reading Room: H. Teerink, A Bibliography of the Writings of Jonathan Swift, second edition, ed. Arthur H. Scouten. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1963.

The illustration at the top of this page is one of my favorites.  It is from the following 1909 edition: Gulliver’s travels into several remote nations of the world / Jonathan Swift; illustrated by Arthur Rackham. London : J.M. Dent & Co. ; New York : E.P. Dutton & Co., 1909.

Comments are closed.