"...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
Life of Johnsonby James Boswell, Charles Grosvenor Osgood (Introduction)
Notoriously and self-confessedly intemperate, Boswell shared with Johnson a huge appetite for life and threw equal energy into recording its every aspect in minute but telling detail. This irrepressible Scotsman was 'always studying human nature and
Poet, lexicographer, critic, moralist and Great Cham, Dr. Johnson had in his friend Boswell the ideal biograoher.
Notoriously and self-confessedly intemperate, Boswell shared with Johnson a huge appetite for life and threw equal energy into recording its every aspect in minute but telling detail. This irrepressible Scotsman was 'always studying human nature and making experiments', and the marvellously vivacious Journals he wrote daily furnished him with first-rate material when he came to write his biography.
THe result is a masterpiece that brims over with wit, anecdote and originality. Hailed by Macaulay as the best biography ever written and by Carlyle as a book 'beyond any other product of the eighteenth century', The Life of Samuel Johnson today continues to enjoy its status as a classic of the language.
This shortened version is based on the 1799 edition, the last in which the author had a hand.
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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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