The Life of Samuel Johnson

Author: James Boswell

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141907436

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 1312

View: 4973

In Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, one of the towering figures of English literature is revealed with unparalleled immediacy and originality. While Johnson’s Dictionary remains a monument of scholarship, and his essays and criticism command continuing respect, we owe our knowledge of the man himself to this biography. Through a series of wonderfully detailed anecdotes, Johnson emerges as a sociable figure with a huge appetite for life, crossing swords with other great eighteenth-century luminaries, from Garrick and Goldsmith to Burney and Burke – even his long-suffering friend and disciple James Boswell. Yet Johnson had a vulnerable, even tragic, side and anxieties and obsessions haunted his private hours. Boswell’s sensitivity and insight into every facet of his subject’s character ultimately make this biography as moving as it is entertaining. Based on the 1799 edition, Christopher Hibbert’s abridgement preserves the integrity of the original, while his fascinating introduction sets Boswell’s view of Samuel Johnson against that of others of the time.

The Life of Samuel Johnson

Author: James Boswell

Publisher: BoD – Books on Demand

ISBN: 373409111X

Category: Fiction

Page: 504

View: 308

Reproduction of the original: The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Selections From the Life of Samuel Johnson

Author: James Boswell

Publisher: Courier Dover Publications

ISBN: 0486828433

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 176

View: 8310

The most famous friendship in English literature arose between a distinguished eighteenth-century writer and his young admirer. The result is this brilliant narrative and its enduring portrait of an age as well as person. James Boswell profiles critic, author, and poet Samuel Johnson, recapturing the sage's wit and conversational style on topics from literature and politics to religion and gossip. Much of their association was conducted from afar; from his home in Edinburgh, Boswell visited London for several weeks each year, where the men socialized in taverns, in Johnson's dwelling, and at dinner with friends — a circle that included playwright Oliver Goldsmith, painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, actor David Garrick, and other luminaries. Boswell's remarkably modern approach interweaves letters and a series of vignettes that he called "scenes." Published in 1791, the book has become far more familiar than Johnson's own works, and this edition provides an accessible, abridged edition of the classic biography.