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Whisky, Kilts, and the Loch Ness Monster: Traveling through Scotland with Boswell and Johnson
     

Whisky, Kilts, and the Loch Ness Monster: Traveling through Scotland with Boswell and Johnson

by William W. Starr
 

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Whisky, Kilts, and the Loch Ness Monster is a memoir of a twenty-first-century literary pilgrimage to retrace the famous eighteenth-century Scottish journey of James Boswell and Samuel Johnson, two of the most celebrated writers of their day. William W. Starr enlivens this crisply written travelogue with a playful wit, an enthusiasm for all things Scottish, the boon

Overview

Whisky, Kilts, and the Loch Ness Monster is a memoir of a twenty-first-century literary pilgrimage to retrace the famous eighteenth-century Scottish journey of James Boswell and Samuel Johnson, two of the most celebrated writers of their day. William W. Starr enlivens this crisply written travelogue with a playful wit, an enthusiasm for all things Scottish, the boon and burden of American sensibility, and an ardent appreciation for Boswell and Johnson—who make frequent cameos throughout these ramblings. In 1773 the sixty-three-year-old Johnson was England's preeminent man of letters, and Boswell, some thirty years Johnson's junior, was on the cusp of achieving his own literary celebrity. For more than one hundred days, the distinguished duo toured what was then largely unknown Scottish terrain, later publishing their impressions of the trip in a pair of classic journals. In 2007 Starr embarked on a three-thousand-mile trek through the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands, following the path—though in reverse—of Boswell and Johnson. He recorded a wealth of keen observations on his encounters with people and places, lochs and lore, castles and clans, fables and foibles. Starr couples his contemporary commentary with passages from Boswell's and Johnson's published accounts, letters, and diaries to weave together a cohesive travel guide to the Scotland of yore and today. This is a celebration of Scottish life and a spirited endorsement of the wondrous, often unexpected discoveries to be made through good travel and good writing.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Starr (A Guide to South Carolina Beaches) is a Samuel Johnson and James Boswell fanatic. He here relates meeting Scots along his travels who drew a blank when asked about Johnson and Boswell, despite the men's whirlwind journey through Scotland in 1773. Each wrote about the trip in books that added to their literary acclaim—Johnson is the author of the Dictionary of the English Language, and Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Starr traces their trek in reverse via car, using their own words as guides and inspiration as he tours the great Scottish sites (and partakes in the great Scottish beverage). Not content to limit himself to their paths, he also explores other parts of Scotland. VERDICT True confession: this reviewer was one of those who couldn't completely place Johnson and Boswell, but this book proved enjoyable nonetheless. Scottish history and travel buffs and Johnson and Boswell enthusiasts will find this fun and inspiring.—Lee Arnold, Historical Soc. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611171228
Publisher:
University of South Carolina Press
Publication date:
06/05/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
232
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

William W. Starr has been executive director of the Georgia Center for the Book in Decatur since 2003. Starr is the author of Southern Writers and A Guide to South Carolina Beaches, an associate editor for The South Carolina Encyclopedia, and a contributing essayist for many newspapers and journals.

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