|' Gulliver's Travels' location|
Map of Brobdingnag (original map, Pt II, Gulliver's Travels)
|Created by||Jonathan Swift|
|Notable locations||Lorbrulgrud (capital)|
Brobdingnag is a fictional land in Jonathan Swift's 1726 satirical novel Gulliver's Travels occupied by giants. Lemuel Gulliver visits the land after the ship on which he is travelling is blown off course and he is separated from a party exploring the unknown land. In the second preface to the book, Gulliver laments that this is a misspelling introduced by the publisher and the land is actually called Brobdingrag.
The adjective "Brobdingnagian" has come to describe anything of colossal size.
Swift describes the location of Brobdingnag, and its geography, in the text of Part II of Gullivers Travels, and provides a map showing where it is. However these accounts are somewhat contradictory.
The map printed at the beginning of Part II indicates that Brobdingnag is located on the northwest coast of North America, in probably what is now British Columbia. It shows (from south to north) Point Monterey, Port Sir Francis Drake, Cape Mendocino, Cape St Sebastian, Cape Blanco and the semi-mythical Strait of Anián, all locations on the Pacific coast of North America, and depicts Brobdingnag as a peninsula extending west into the Pacific to the north of the Straits.
In the book Gulliver describes his voyage from England. After wintering at the Cape of Good Hope, the ship reached a latitude of five degrees south, northward of Madagascar in March 1703, and the Moluccas, "about three degrees northwards of the line" in April. From there the ship is driven by a storm "about five hundred leagues to the east" (this would place the ship still in Micronesia), after which the crew determine to "hold on the same course rather than turn more northerly, which might have brought us to the north-west parts of Great Tartary". They sighted land, which Gulliver later discovers is Brobdingnag, on 16 June 1703.
Brobdingnag is claimed to be a continent-sized peninsula 6,000 miles (9,700 km) long and 3,000–5,000 miles (4,800–8,000 km) miles wide, which based on the location given by Gulliver would suggest that it covers most of the North Pacific. Contrariwise, his map shows Brobdingnag to be of a similar size and extent as the present-day Washington, and his description of the voyage puts it at a six-week voyage from the Moluccas.
Swift was highly sceptical about the reliability of travel writings and the unlikely geographic descriptions parody many unreliable travel books published at the time which Percy Adams describes as "travel lies".
Unlike his account of Lilliput, Gulliver does not say exactly how big the people of Brobdingnag are save a nine-year-old girl Glumdalclitch who teaches him the language and stands "not above 40 feet tall, being small for her age". In at least two cases, he states explicitly that a Brobdingnagian's eyes are "above sixty feet" from the ground, giving a ratio of at least eleven to one. He also states that he would "appear as inconsiderable to this nation as a Lilliputian would be among us", suggesting the same twelve to one ratio given for Lilliput was intended. Hailstones are almost 1,800 times as heavy as in Europe, consistent with the figure. Gulliver also describes visiting the chief temple in Lorbrulgrud, whose tower was the highest in the kingdom, but reports he "came back disappointed, for the height is not above three thousand foot", which "allowing for the difference in size between those people and us in Europe" is "not equal in proportion to Salisbury steeple". Outside world whales are stated to be of a size that one man can barely carry, and are eaten by common folk if they find a beached specimen.
Brobdingnag is said to be located between Japan and California, extending six thousand miles in length, and between three and five thousand miles in breadth. It is described as a peninsula, terminated to the northeast by a range of volcanoes up to 30 miles (48 km) high separating the country from unknown land beyond. It is surrounded on three other sides by the ocean, and the people have never been able to develop ocean-going ships. The land "has 51 cities, near 100 walled towns, and a great number of villages". Lorbrulgrud is claimed to be the capital with the king having a seaside palace at Flanflasnic. The capital "contains above 80,000 houses" and "is in length three glonglungs (about fifty four English miles) and two and a half in breadth". Gulliver tells us that Lorbrulgrud was "situated near the middle of that empire" and was three thousand miles distant from the farmer's house on the coast, that the journey took ten weeks and that they "crossed five or six rivers many degrees broader and deeper than the Nile or the Ganges", and "there was hardly a rivulet smaller than the Thames at London Bridge".
The people of Brobdingnag are described as giants who are as tall as 60 feet high and whose stride is ten yards. All of the other animals and plants, and even natural features such as rivers and even hail, are in proportion. The rats are the size of mastiffs, with tails "two yards long, wanting an inch", while mastiffs are "equal in bulk to four elephants". Gulliver describes flies "as big as a Dunstable lark", and wasps the size of partridges, with stings "an inch and a half long, and sharp as needles". This also means that the country is far more dangerous for people of normal human size, as evidenced by Gulliver using his hanger far more often here—namely, on attacking vermin—than in any other of the strange countries he visited, but the people are civilised. A splacknuck is an animal about 6 feet (1.8 m) long, to which Gulliver is compared in size, although it is never explained which animal it corresponds to. Fossil records are claimed to show that the ancestors of the Brobdingnagians were once even larger, likely as an allusion to the contemporary tendency of supporting similar claims with bones that had since (and, in part, even by then) been identified as belonging to elephants, mastodons and even whales. The King of Brobdingnag argues that the race has deteriorated. The language of Brobdingnag is depicted as being of a character distinctively different from that of Lilliput.
Gulliver relates that, in the past, there were battles between the monarchy, nobility, and people resulting in a number of civil wars ending in a treaty. The monarchy is based on reason. City officials are elected by ballot. The King of Brobdingnag finds English institutions and behaviour wanting in comparison with his country's. Based on Gulliver's descriptions of their behaviour, the King describes the English as "the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth".Swift intended the moral relationship between the English and Brobdingnagians to be as disproportionate as the physical relationship. The King of Brobdingnag is considered to be based on Sir William Steele, a statesman and writer, whom Swift worked for early in his career.
The army of Brobdingnag is claimed to be large with 207,000 troops including 32,000 cavalry although the society has no known enemies. The local nobility commands the forces; firearms and gunpowder are unknown to them. The King scolds Gulliver when he tries to interest the statesman in the use of gunpowder.
The laws of Brobdingnag are simple and easy to follow. There is little civil litigation. Murderers are beheaded.
In Gulliver's in-character preface to the story, headed A letter from Captain Gulliver to his cousin Sympson, he specifies that the correct spelling is in fact "... Brobdingrag (for so the word should have been spelt, and not erroneously Brobdingnag), ... [emphasis added]". This correction by the fictional author is a device used to add an element of verisimilitude to the story.
Brobdingnagian culture consists of history, poetry, mathematics and ethics, mathematics being a particular strength. Printing has been long known but libraries are relatively small. The king has the largest library, which contains about one thousand volumes. The Brobdingnagians favour a clear literary style.
The land is the subject of James Gillray's satirical hand-coloured etching and aquatint print, titled The King of Brobdingnag and Gulliver.–Vide. Swift's Gulliver: Voyage to Brobdingnag. June, five weeks after the breakdown of the Treaty of Amiens, which precipitated the Napoleonic Wars. The king's speech balloon in the top half of the print reads "My little friend Grildrig, you have made a most admirable panegyric upon Yourself and Country, but from what I can gather from your own relation & the answers I have with much pains wringed & extorted from you, I cannot but conclude you to be one of the most pernicious, little-odious-reptiles, that nature ever suffer'd to crawl upon the surface of the Earth".Produced in 1803, it shows a profile of George III of the United Kingdom, representing the Brobdingnagian king, holding a miniature Napoleon, representing Gulliver, while observing him through a spyglass. It was published on 26
On Mars's largest moon, Phobos, the crater Grildrig has the name given to Gulliver by the farmer's daughter Glumdalclitch in Brobdingnag, because of Swift's 'prediction' of the two then undiscovered Martian moons, which his Laputan astronomers had discovered.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brobdingnag .|
Gulliver's Travels, 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 prose satire of 1726 by the Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift, satirising both human nature and the "travellers' tales" literary subgenre. It is Swift's best known full-length work, and a classic of English literature. Swift claimed that he wrote Gulliver's Travels "to vex the world rather than divert it".
Houyhnhnms are a fictional race of intelligent horses described in the last part of Jonathan Swift's satirical 1726 novel Gulliver's Travels. The name is pronounced either or. Swift apparently intended all words of the Houyhnhnm language to echo the neighing of horses.
Laputa is a flying island described in the 1726 book Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. It is about 4.5 miles in diameter, with an adamantine base, which its inhabitants can maneuver in any direction using magnetic levitation. It has a cave in the very centre which is precisely there to gather all the rainwater. It is also used by the king to enforce his supremacy.
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Lemuel Gulliver is the fictional protagonist and narrator of Gulliver's Travels, a novel written by Jonathan Swift, first published in 1726.
Glumdalclitch is the name Gulliver gives his "nurse" in Book II of Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel Gulliver's Travels. In Book I, Gulliver travels to the land of Lilliput. Leaving there, he travels to the land of Brobdingnag. In Lilliput, Gulliver was a giant, and in Brobdingnag, he is a dwarf, with the proportions reversed.
Gulliver's Travels is a British/American TV miniseries based on Jonathan Swift's 1726 satirical novel of the same name, produced by Jim Henson Productions and Hallmark Entertainment. This miniseries is notable for being one of the very few adaptations of Swift's novel to feature all four voyages. The miniseries aired in the United Kingdom on Channel 4, and in the United States on NBC in February 1996. The miniseries stars Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud, Omar Sharif, Isabelle Huppert, Geraldine Chaplin, Shashi Kapoor, Warwick Davis, Kristin Scott Thomas, Alfre Woodard, Kate Maberly, Tom Sturridge, Richard Wilson and Nicholas Lyndhurst.
François Thijssen or Frans Thijsz was a Dutch explorer who explored the southern coast of Australia.
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver is a 1960 Eastmancolor Columbia Pictures fantasy film loosely based upon the 1726 Irish novel Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. The film stars Kerwin Mathews as the title character, June Thorburn as his fiancée Elizabeth, and child actress Sherry Alberoni as Glumdalclitch.
Gulliver's Travels is a 1939 American cel-animated Technicolor feature film produced by Max Fleischer and directed by Dave Fleischer for Fleischer Studios. Released to cinemas in the United States on December 22, 1939 by Paramount Pictures, the story is a very loose adaptation of Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel of the same name, specifically the first part which tells the story of Lilliput and Blefuscu, and centers around an explorer who helps a small kingdom who declared war after an argument over a wedding song. The film was the Fleischer Studios' first feature-length animated film, as well as the second animated feature film produced by an American studio after Walt Disney Productions' Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as Paramount had commissioned the feature in response to the success of that film. The sequences for the film were directed by Seymour Kneitel, Willard Bowsky, Tom Palmer, Grim Natwick, William Henning, Roland Crandall, Thomas Johnson, Robert Leffingwell, Frank Kelling, Winfield Hoskins, and Orestes Calpini.
Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos. Due to their small size, both moons were discovered only in 1877, by astronomer Asaph Hall. Nevertheless, they frequently feature in works of science fiction.
The New Gulliver is a Soviet stop motion-animated cartoon, and the first to make such extensive use of puppet animation, running almost all the way through the film. The film was released in 1935 to widespread acclaim and earned director Aleksandr Ptushko a special prize at the International Cinema Festival in Milan. The part of Gulliver was played by Vladimir Konstantinov, who was born in 1920 and died in 1944 near Tallinn in the Second World War. This was his first and only film role.
Le Voyage de Gulliver à Lilliput et chez les Géants, released in the United States as Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants and in the United Kingdom as Gulliver's Travels—In the land of the Lilliputians and the Giants, is a 1902 French short silent film directed by Georges Méliès, based on Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel Gulliver's Travels.
Gulliver's Travels is a 1977 British-Belgian film based on the 1726 novel of the same name by Jonathan Swift. It mixed live action and animation, and starred Richard Harris in the title role.
Gulliver's Travels is a 2010 American fantasy adventure comedy film directed by Rob Letterman in his live-action directorial debut, produced by John Davis and Gregory Goodman, written by Joe Stillman and Nicholas Stoller with music by Henry Jackman. It is very loosely based on Part One of the 1726 novel of the same name by Jonathan Swift, though the film takes place in the modern day. It stars Jack Black, Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, T.J. Miller, Chris O'Dowd, James Corden and Catherine Tate, and is exclusively distributed by 20th Century Fox.
The Lilliput Nunataks are three nunataks, from 600 to 700 metres high and trending southeast–northwest, located 3 nautical miles (6 km) north of Gulliver Nunatak on the east side of Graham Land, Antarctica. The nunataks are snow free on their southeast sides. They were charted by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey and photographed from the air by the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition in 1947. The name, from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, means land of small people and was applied by the UK Antarctic Place-Names Committee in association with Gulliver Nunatak.
Japan is referred to in Gulliver's Travels, the 1726 satirical novel by Jonathan Swift.
The Lilliput effect is a decrease in body size in animal species which have survived a major extinction. There are several hypotheses as to why these patterns appear in the fossil record, some of which are: the survival of small taxa, dwarfing of larger lineages, and the evolutionary miniaturization from larger ancestral stocks. The term was coined in 1993 by Adam Urbanek in his paper concerning the extinction of graptoloids and is derived from the island of Lilliput inhabited by a miniature race of people in Gulliver’s Travels. This size decrease may just be a temporary phenomenon restricted to the survival period of the extinction event. In 2019 Atkinson et coined the term the Brobdingnag effect to describe a related phenomenon operating in the opposite direction, whereby new species evolving after the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction originated at small body sizes before undergoing a size increase. The term is also from Gulliver’s Travels where Brobnignag is a land inhabited by a race of giants.
The cultural influence of Gulliver's Travels has spanned centuries.