Includes Memoirs, Critical Dissertations, and Explanatory Notes. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), often referred to simply as Dr Johnson, was one of England’s greatest literary figures: a poet, essayist, biographer, lexicographer and a critic of English literature. He was also a great wit and prose stylist, well known for his aphorisms. Between 1745 and 1755, Johnson wrote perhaps his best-known work, A Dictionary of the English Language. Amongst his other works are The Idler (1758-1760), Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (1759) and The Patriot (1774). Thomas Parnell (1679-1718) was a poet and clergyman. He was one of the so-called “Graveyard poets”: his ‘A Night-Piece on Death, ' widely considered the first “Graveyard School” poem, was published posthumously in Poems on Several Occasions, collected and edited by Alexander Pope. Thomas Gray (1716-1771), was an English poet, classical scholar and professor of Cambridge University. He began seriously writing poems in 1742. He is regarded as the predominant poetic figure of the mid-18th century. Tobias George Smollett (1721-1771) was a Scottish author, best known for his picaresque novels, such as The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748) and The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1753).