Selected Essays

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Overview

With his wit, eloquence, and shrewd perception of contemporary morals, Samuel Johnson was the most versatile writer of the English neoclassical period. His dictionary, dramas, and poetry established his reputation, but it was the essays that demonstrated the range of his talent. This new edition presents both the forcefully argued moral pieces of Johnson's middle years and the more light-hearted essays of his later work. Tackling ethical questions—such as the importance of self-knowledge, awareness of mortality, ...

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Overview

With his wit, eloquence, and shrewd perception of contemporary morals, Samuel Johnson was the most versatile writer of the English neoclassical period. His dictionary, dramas, and poetry established his reputation, but it was the essays that demonstrated the range of his talent. This new edition presents both the forcefully argued moral pieces of Johnson's middle years and the more light-hearted essays of his later work. Tackling ethical questions—such as the importance of self-knowledge, awareness of mortality, the role of the novel, and, in a lighter vein, marriage, sleep, and deceit—these brilliant and thought-provoking essays are a mirror of the time in which they were written and a testament to Johnson's stature as the leading man of letters of his age.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140436273
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/15/2003
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 213,361
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.79 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was the leading literary scholar and critic of his time. A writer of vigor, power, passion, and profundity, he helped to shape and define the Augustan Age.

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Table of Contents

Selected Essays Chronology Introduction Further Reading A Note on the Texts
The Rambler (1750-52)
1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 36, 37, 39, 41, 45, 47, 49, 60, 63, 64, 70, 71, 72, 73, 76, 77, 79, 85, 87, 90, 93, 101, 106, 108, 113, 114, 115, 121, 129, 134, 135, 137, 142, 145, 146, 148, 151, 156, 158, 159, 161, 165, 167, 168, 170, 171, 176, 181, 183, 184, 188, 191, 196, 207, 208.

The Adventurer (1753-54)
39, 45, 50, 67, 69, 84, 85, 95, 99, 102, 107, 111, 119, 126, 137, 138.

The Idler (1758-60)
1, 5, 10, 17, [22], 22, 23, 27, 30, 31, 32, 36, 38, 40, 41, 44, 48, 49, 50, 51, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 65, 66, 72, 81, 84, 88, 94, 100, 103.

Miscellaneous Essays
"A Compleat Vindication of the Licensers of the Stage" (1739)
"An Essay on Epitaphs" (1740)
"Introduction" to the Harleian Miscellany (1744)
"Observations on the present State of Affairs" (1756)
"Of the Duty of a Journalist" (1758)
"The Bravery of the English Common Soldiers" (1760)

Appendix I: Johnson's prayer on beginning The Rambler
Appendix II: Parallel texts of the original and revised states of The Rambler No. 1
Appendix III: Bonnell Thornton's parody of The Rambler
Notes

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