The Jonathan Swift Festival is a unique opportunity to celebrate the life and work of one of the world's greatest satirists.
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This year marks the 350th anniversary of the birth of one of Ireland’s most popular authors, Jonathan Swift, and to mark the occasion Dublin is hosting a one-off festival running from 23–26 November.
Best known as the author of Gulliver’s Travels, Swift was born in Dublin and spent the last 30 years of his life there as Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Jonathan Swift Festival will feature films, talks, music, exhibitions and food in venues across Dublin.
Due to his close relationship with the cathedral, several of the events will be held there.
One of the festival highlights, a candle-lit dinner in the cathedral’s nave, will serve food based on recipes from A Book of Cookery, penned in Dublin in the late 17th century. The meal will be followed by a talk on dining in the period.
Other events include the ‘Rediscovering Swift and his Dublin’ walking tour and a theatrical tour of St Patrick’s Hospital, which was founded by Swift.
At Christ Church Cathedral, singer Pádraig Ó Nualláin will perform an evening of songs that would have been heard in the streets of Dublin during Swift’s time. At Trinity College, Dr René Gapert will give a talk on forensic anthropology and Jonathan Swift’s death mask.
Numerous Swiftian films will be shown and there will be an outdoor, nighttime animation show of illustrations relating to Gulliver’s Travels.
"Marsh's Library, frequently visited by Swift, still has its original bookcases and houses more than 25,000 rare books."
Swift fans unable to make the festival can visit the great author’s grave and see his death mask in St Patrick’s Cathedral at any time. The cathedral also has early editions of his writings including ‘A Sermon Upon Sleeping in Church’, and a cast of Swift’s skull.
Nearby Marsh’s Library is also worth a visit. Unchanged for three centuries, the library, frequently visited by Swift, still has its original oak bookcases and houses more than 25,000 rare books.
Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature and its literary credentials make it a magnet for all lovers of the written word.
Four Nobel laureates were born or lived in Dublin (Shaw, Yeats, Beckett and Heaney), and a multitude of important authors, poets and playwrights including Joyce, Wilde, Kavanagh and O’Casey are associated with the city.
For more information visit: www.jonathanswiftfestival.ie/