Life of Johnson

Life of Johnson

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by James Boswell
     
 

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Samuel Johnson was a poet, essayist, dramatist, and pioneering lexicographer, but his continuing reputation depends less of his modest literary output than on the fortunate accident of finding an ideal biographer in James Boswell. Surely no other biographer can have had more devotion to his subject, more opportunity to study him, or more talent in bringing him vividly…  See more details below

Overview

Samuel Johnson was a poet, essayist, dramatist, and pioneering lexicographer, but his continuing reputation depends less of his modest literary output than on the fortunate accident of finding an ideal biographer in James Boswell. Surely no other biographer can have had more devotion to his subject, more opportunity to study him, or more talent in bringing him vividly to life than Boswell in his Life of Johnson. As Johnson's constant and admiring companion, Boswell was able to record not only the outward events of his life, but also the humour, wit, and sturdy common sense of his conversation. His brilliant portrait of a major literary figure of the eighteenth century, enriched by historical and social detail, remains a monument to the art of biography.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"I don't need to tell you what a splendid service Oxford performs by having the complete Life available inexpensively and with Chapman's deft annotations and Rogers's smart and useful introduction."--Alexander Poffit, University of North Texas

"...An elegant study of currents and of undercurrents in the travellers' separate accounts of their journey to the Western Islands. Reading this book, we realize better than before what Johnson and Boswell, separately and together, were so passionately in quest of...be grateful for the imaginative light [the book] throws on the mythic-seeming journey and on those mythic-seeming voyagers whose travels still haunt some of our waking dreams."--The Albion

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781508999539
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
03/23/2015
Pages:
462
Sales rank:
980,665
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.03(d)

Meet the Author

James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck (29 October 1740 - 19 May 1795) was a lawyer, diarist, and author born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is best known for the biography he wrote of one of his contemporaries, the English literary figure Samuel Johnson, which the modern Johnsonian critic Harold Bloom has claimed is the greatest biography written in the English language.

Boswell's surname has passed into the English language as a term (Boswell, Boswellian, Boswellism) for a constant companion and observer, especially one who records those observations in print. In A Scandal in Bohemia, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes affectionately says of Dr. Watson, who narrates the tales, "I am lost without my Boswell."

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