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A journey to the western islands of Scotland…
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A journey to the western islands of Scotland (1775)

by Samuel Johnson

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Fascinating account by Johnson of his trip through Scotland with Boswell (who also wrote up an account).
Full of information about the life and times of the Highlands in the late 1700s. Insights like the fact that the lack of roads meant that the may not have been a single wheeled vehicle for transporting goods in the entire highlands of that era!
Read May 2017 ( )
  mbmackay | Jul 6, 2017 |
I liked best this book when it described the beginning of the journey in the Highlands. But Johnson's verbosity was a bit tiring afterwards, & I kept looking to the number of pages left.

I found interesting Johnson's describing the highlanders just as first encounters with tribes in Papua New Guinea were described afterwards. They even carried with them small gifts for the locals which were benevolently distributed.

Emphatic as he was, Johnson aroused sufficient interest in me to making me want to put my steps one day in his' & Boswell's in the small islands they visited off Mull. ( )
  Pepys | Dec 21, 2007 |
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I had desired to visit the Hebrides, or Western Islands of Scotland, so long, that I scarcely remember how the wish was originally excited; and was in the Autumn of the year 1773 induced to undertake the journey, by finding in Mr. Boswell a companion, whose acuteness would help my enquiry, and whose gayety of conversation and civility of manners are sufficient to counteract the inconveniences of travel, in countries less hospitable than we have passed.
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Both Samuel Johnson and his traveling companion James Boswell published books about their tour to the Hebrides in western Scotland. Johnson first published his in 1775, but Boswell did not publish until 1785. The two works are sometimes published together in modern editions. Boswell also described the tour more briefly in his biography of Johnson (1791).
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In 1773, a 63 year old literary giant and a 32 year old Scottish lawyer set out on horseback to travel the roads of Scotland.

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