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This complete and unabridged edition is the only complete critical edition in paperback. Samuel Johnson was a poet, essayist, dramatist, and pioneering lexicographer, but his continuing reputation depends less on his literary output than on the fortunate accident of finding an ideal biographer in James Boswell. 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.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199540211
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/01/2008
Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
Pages: 1536
Sales rank: 631,213
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 2.30(d)

About 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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The Life Of Johnson (Abridged) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
aaronbaron on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The progenitor of the modern biography still reads well, despite the cumbersome pomposity indicative of much 18th prose. The secret is in the remarkable characters, who just happen to be real. Johnson appears as shambling bulldog, full of eccentricity and worry, with a mind like a steel trap, while Boswell was an obsequious, vain main who, against every conceivable odd, actually produced a work of startling originality and keen insight. Their friendship defies easy understanding, but it produced a gossipy eulogy of a book that launched a genre.
kranbollin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This one volume unabridged edition has stood up well over three readings. There will be more readings to come because I love this book above all my others. I wish I could give it more stars.
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