|Swift's father died shortly before he was born, and he was sent by his mother to live with relatives. He received his B.A. from Trinity College, where his tuition was paid by a rich uncle. He went to England without finishing his M.A. degree, working as a secretary to Sir William Temple--a post he disliked but where he acquired some sophistication and culture. While there, he wrote his satirical burlesque, "A Tale of a Tub." He was ordained an Anglican priest back in Ireland, but immediately returned to England, where he became involved in the brilliant literary "coffee house" circle that included Pope, Gay, Addison, and Steele and began to publish his satirical essays in the Tatler. His Tory politics got him into trouble in England, however, when the Whigs came to power, and he returned to Ireland as Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. He was scarred by his failures in England, but he continued to write enthusiastically, producing his ironic masterpiece "A Modest Proposal" and, in 1726, his great work, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, a synthesis of his bitter, cynical wit and his optimism about the fate of mankind. It was also in Ireland that Swift became involved with the two great loves of his life, Stella and Vanessa, about both of whom little is known. Swift's health, mental and physical, declined drastically when he was in his 60s, and he died virtually insane at the age of 77. .