Johnson and Boswell: The Transit of Caledonia

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This is the first comprehensive treatment of Johnson and Boswell in relation to Scotland, as revealed in their accounts of their trip to the Hebrides in 1773. Locating the famous journey both within the context of travel writing in the decade of Cook's Pacific voyages, and in an intellectual, cultural, and literary context, Rogers explores the motives of both men in making the "Grand Detour" in the face of the anti-Scottish feeling of the period.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Boswell-Johnson adventure has never been seen as clearly before as Rogers has now revealed it."—Times Literary Supplement

"[The author] offers an eleant study of currents and of undercurrents in the travellers' separate accounts of their journey to the Western Islands...Take Rogers' study for the very good book it is, question it here and there, argue with it at need, but above all be grateful for the imaginative light it throws on the mythic-seeming journey and on those mythic-seeming voyagers whose travels still haunt some of our waking dreams."—The Albion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198182597
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Lexile: 1390L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

University of South Florida
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 'Trembling on the Brink of his Own Climacterick': Johnson's Journey to the Western Islands and the Onset of Old Age 10
2 The Grand Detour: Johnson's Un-Italian Journey 30
3 'The Transit of the Caledonian Hemisphere': Johnson and Boswell in an Age of Discovery 68
4 The Noblest Savage of them All: Johnson, Omai, and Other Primitives 89
5 Johnson's Letters to Hester Thrale and A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland 108
6 The Rambler and the Wanderer: Boswell's Road to the Isles 139
7 Boswell and the Scotticism 171
8 Johnson, Boswell, and Anti-Scottish Sentiment 192
Conclusion 216
Appendix: Monboddo, Johnson, and Boswell 226
Select Bibliography 232
Index 237
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