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Samuel Johnson by W. Jackson Bate

Samuel Johnson (original 1977; edition 1977)

by W. Jackson Bate

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299237,504 (4.44)14
Title:Samuel Johnson
Authors:W. Jackson Bate
Info:New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
Collections:Your library
Tags:Literary Criticism, Biography

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Samuel Johnson by W. Jackson Bate (1977)



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While it is primarily, a psychological portrait of the man and how he struggled with severe depression and major breakdowns and Tourette's Syndrome and much more throughout his life, it also shows how very much one individual can achieve in life despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

With the book's subject matter being what it is, it is probably not suitable for a 'beach read' but it did get a Natl Bk Award, the Pulitzer Prize, etc.
  Urquhart | May 28, 2013 |
4197 Samuel Johnson, by W. Jackson Bate (read 16 Aug 2006) (Pulitzer Biography prize for 1978) (National Book Award biography prize for 1978) (National Book Critics Circle biography award for 1978) I have a minor plan to read all the Pulitzer-prize-winning biographies, and reading this brings to 56 such winners I have read (leaving 32 not read). Johnson was born on my birthday in 1709 but was never a favorite of mine in any Lit class I ever took but this is a good book--better than Bate's book on Keats (read 25 June 1983) or his slighter book on Coleridge (read 8 June 1972). There are a few dull chapters in the book but his life was an interesting one and this book covers it well. He died at 7 PM on Dec 13, 1784. Bate's neat summary sentence: "This was especially true of those who know something of his early life--Johnson walking the wet road to school at Merkel Bosworth, leaving for London with David Garrick, writing the parliamentary debates in a garret, trudging the street all night with Richard Savage--as well as the Johnson who wrote the dictionary, The Vanity of Human Wishes, and struggled against despair to bring out the edition of Shakespeare, who looked after waifs and strays, ran the race with tiny John Ryne, imitated the kangaroo, rolled down hills, wrote The Lives of the Poets, and became the greatest talker in the history of the English language." All in all this was good book to read and Johnson was a great man, even if he had his peculiarities. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Oct 23, 2007 |
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