21 May 2020
Lovers of the satire of Jonathan Swift will enjoy a fascinating audio tour of Georgian Dublin that visits locations in the city that played a key role in his life.
Take a stroll around Georgian Dublin in 1743 in the company of Jonathan Swift’s housekeeper, Mrs Ann Whiteway, and discover the facts, mysteries and scandals that surrounded the life of one of Ireland’s most famous authors.
Jonathan Swift’s Dublin is an immersive audio tour that intersperses readings from the author’s works with the telling of his life story and an explanation of historical events that shaped Dublin and Ireland in the eighteenth century.
Stopping at 15 places that played a role in Swift’s life, it is full of the sounds of eighteenth century Dublin and alive with the characters created by Swift in his writings.
The tour starts at Hoey’s Court near to where Swift was born in 1667, and progresses to St Werburgh’s Church, Dublin Castle’s beautiful Chapel Royal, where Swift was supposed to have been baptised, but of which there is no record.
We stop off at his local pub, Lord Edward’s, where he wrote many of his satirical essays and at the magnificent Christ Church Cathedral, where Swift was ordained.
Christ Church Cathedral, County Dublin
We learn of the anonymous publication of his works and how the authorities and the faithful alike were so scandalised by Swift’s writings that he was sent to a very poor parish near Belfast for a time. It’s said that while there he was inspired to write his masterpiece Gulliver’s Travels because the shape of Belfast’s Cave Hill put him in mind of a sleeping giant.
The tour also takes us to Marsh’s Library, the country’s first public library which opened in 1707 and which today houses more than 25,000 rare books.
The final stop is St Patrick’s Cathedral where Swift was Dean for many years and where he is buried. His grave is marked on the ornate floor of the cathedral.
Today, the cathedral holds many artefacts connected to Swift’s time including the pulpit from which he preached and early editions of his writings, death masks and a cast of Swift’s skull.
The audio tour has been created by the Museum of Literature Ireland, which recently launched an on-demand section to its popular digital radio station, RadioMoLI, enabling people around the world to stream dozens of podcasts, lectures, interviews and readings from the museum's digital archive.
Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
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