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or Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By
Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships is a
book written by Jonathan
Swift and first published in 1726. It was meant to be a satire of human
nature, English customs, politics of the day, and travelouges, and contributed
to the rise of the novel as a literary form in English.
A well-known image of Gulliver being tied down by the Lilliputians.
was told in four parts from the first-person from the perspective of Lemuel
Gulliver, a surgeon and sea captain that travelled the world. The first part,
probably the most well-known, had Gulliver as the sole survivor of a shipwreck that
ended up in Lilliput, a land where the populace was only 6-inches tall.
Parodying the English political parties, the Tories
the Lilliputians engaged in ridiculous customs and petty debates while court
positions were filled by those that were good at ridiculous feats of skill. Gulliver
is asked to help in the conflict with the empire of Blefuscu over which end of
an egg should be broken, their religious doctrine. After falling out of favor
with the Lilliputians he found a human-sized boat in Blefuscu and escaped back
Gulliver in the land of giants.
voyage took him to Brobdingnag, this time populated by giants. Captured by a
farmer, Gulliver was put on exhibit and eventually purchased by their queen.
Their king, however, wasn’t quite as taken by him over his stories of England
and was horrified by Gulliver’s offer to make them projectile weapons. He was
snatched up by an eagle and rescued by normal-sized people at sea.
Gulliver spying Laputa.
voyage saw him on the flying island of Laputa, whose populace were so lost in
thought they needed to be reminded to pay attention, and who loved mathematics
and music but had no practical applications for either. Visiting the continent
of Balnibarbi, the land below the island, he found the fields in ruin and
people living in squalor as the citizenry were governed by a learned academy
that spent all their time on impractical experiments; such as extracting sunbeams
from cucumbers. The island of sorcerers, Glubbdubdrib, yielded insights into
the great lies of history. Finally, he went to the kingdom of Luggnagg, whose
citizens were immortal but aged as if they were mortal, rendering them
miserable. From there, Gulliver was able to get to Japan and back to England.
The Houyhnhnms herding their Yahoos during a harvest.
voyage took him to the land of the Houyhnhnms, intelligent horses who were superior
to the brutish humanoid race of Yahoos; some of whom were tamed in a twist on
the human-beast relationship. The Houyhnhnms were fascinated by Gulliver who
seemed to them to be a better version of the Yahoos, but his stories of England
led them to conclude they were just as bad as the Yahoos and that Gulliver must
leave. Upon his return to England, Gulliver decided to spurn human connections
and bought horses to converse with instead.
The first edition of the book.
was first published in England by Benjamin Motte, utilizing
five printing houses for speedy production to avoid piracy. Fearing persecution
due to the book being transparently anti-Whig, he made several edits to the manuscript
without Swift’s input to soften the blow and added material defending Queen
Anne before publication. The book proved popular with the populace, although
Swift’s peers were often critical of its messages and depictions of humanity.
Naturally, members of the Whig party were offended at the mocking of their
politics. The book was reprinted in 1735 by Irish publisher George Faulkner with
Motte’s edits removed. Swift composed a “letter” from Gulliver to his cousin
Sympson complaining of Motte’s alterations to be included in the new edition,
as was a set of five Verses on Gulliver’s Travels written by Swift’s
Pope. Both versions of the book would be reprinted over the years with
Gary with Tagg and the sinister Captain Leech.
many other great works of literature that have endured over centuries, Gulliver’s
Travels has been adapted numerous times—although many put to film have
tended to focus only on the first two adventures—and there have been a wide
range of unofficial sequels and imitations. One of these efforts was made by Hanna-Barbera, loosely
borrowing the names and themes from the first adventure for an all-new animated
series. The Adventures of Gulliver followed father and son Thomas (mistakenly
called “Lemuel” by many sources, voiced by John Stephenson) and Gary Gulliver
(Jerry Dexter) as they went on a treasure-hunting voyage with their dog, Tagg (which
many sources mistakenly call “Bib”, voiced by Don Messick). However, the
sinister Captain Leech (Stephenson) also wanted the treasure and tried to steal
their map, resulting in their ship crashing on the rocks.
Our Lilliputian friends (clockwise from top): King Pomp, Flirtatica, Bunko, Eager and Glum.
Tagg found themselves on the very island they were looking for, which turned
out to be the home of the Lilliputians—beings only 6-inches tall. After some
initial mistrust of their giant visitors, Gary’s rescuing of King Pomp
(Stephenson) put him in their good graces; particularly with Bunko (Allan
Melvin), Eager (Messick), Glum (Herb Vigran), and Flirtacia (who was never
indicated as being a princess despite many claims as such, voiced by Ginny
Tyler). As he helped protect their kingdom from assorted threats like giant
birds and other tiny people, they in turn helped him search for his father somewhere
in the perilous wilds of the island. Of course, additional danger continued to
lurk in the form of Captain Leech, pursuing Gary for the map he was initially unaware
his father hid in Tagg’s collar.
If someone doesn't end up tied down by little people, is it even a Gulliver adaptation?
Adventures of Gulliver debuted on ABC on
September 14, 1968. The series was written by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears,
with character designs by Alex Toth and music
by Ted Nichols. The biting
satire found in Swift’s novel was greatly reduced, if at all present, to
instead focus on fantastic adventure tales with the Lilliputians providing Hanna-Barbera’s
trademark comic relief. Further differences involved neither Gulliver being noticeably
British and being set in the present day. Although only 17 episodes were
produced, the series ran through the summer of 1970 before being integrated
into The Banana Splits and Friends Show syndicated package program. Reruns would eventually make their way to both Cartoon Network and its sister
channel, Boomerang. A decade after the
series’ production, Hanna-Barbera would return to Lilliput with a new
adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels for their anthology television series Famous Classic Tales.
This version would stick a bit closer to the book.