Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Rare letter by Irish author up Jonathan Swift for auction

A rare letter by 'Gulliver's Travels' author Jonathan Swift is set to be auctioned today.

Dublin-born Swift dated the letter on April 20, 1732, and it was sent to Lionel Sackville, the first Duke of Dorset.

The author, the famed satirist and clergyman, penned the letter aged 64. Bidding for the letter, which is being auctioned by Nate D Sanders in LA, is starting at $10,000 (7,249). Interested parties can participate online.

In it, Swift refers to how Sackville and his Duchess wife were inquiring after him, "at a time when you are so much taken up in crowds and ceremony. "I can make no wishes for either of you, but a good voyage without sickness or accidents. For as to honour fortune, favor and the like, I can onely pray for the continuance of them.

"That I so seldom troubled your Grace, I am sure you will approve, as a matter of Conscience in me, not to disturb your house, which in the business of some months left so few for your own leisure and diversions." It's signed off "your humble servant, Jonath Swift". At the time, he was Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.

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