Swift’s A Modest Proposal

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss one of the most brilliant and shocking satires ever written in English - Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. Masquerading as an attempt to end poverty in Ireland once and for all, a Modest Proposal is a short pamphlet that draws the reader into a scheme for economic and industrial horror. Published anonymously but written by Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal lays bare the cruel presumptions, unchecked prejudice, the politics and the poverty of the 18th century, but it also reveals, perhaps more than anything else, the character and the mind of Swift himself.

Listen on BBC Sounds website

Guests

  • John Mullan 14 episodes
    Professor of English at University College London
  • Judith Hawley 13 episodes
    Professor of 18th Century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Ian McBride 2 episodes
    Senior Lecturer in the History Department at King's College London

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Programme ID: b00h3650

Episode page: bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00h3650

Auto-category: 823.5 (English Satire)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, 1729 was a very bad year for the Irish people who worked the land.