Imaginary Countries • one •

Lilliput and Blefuscu are two fictional island nations that appear in the 1726 novel Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. Both are portrayed as being in the South Indian Ocean and are inhabited by tiny people who are "not six inches high". The two are separated by a channel eight hundred yards wide. The tiny people of Lilliput and Blefuscu contrast with the giants of Brobdingnag whom Gulliver also met.

In the novel, Gulliver washes up on the shore of Lilliput and is 'captured' by the inhabitants while asleep. He discovers that Lilliput and Blefuscu are permanently at war because of differences over the correct way to eat a boiled egg – from the rounded end according to the Blefuscudians, or from the sharp end according to the Lilliputians. The supporters of the differing views were called "Big-endians" and "Little-endians." (These are sometimes incorrectly reversed in various sources; a helpful mnemonic is Lilliput for little and Blefuscu for big.)
The story is a parody of the European nations, particularly England and France, who were in Swift's view constantly at war over 'trivial' matters. The egg dispute was a mirror for the argument between consubstantiation and transubstantiation in the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.


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