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The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791)

by James Boswell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,357372,916 (4.22)120
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 idealbiographer 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.… (more)
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» See also 120 mentions

English (34)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
The stages of reading Boswell's Johnson thus far:
1) Believing Johnson was a genius.
2) Knowing Johnson was an idiot.
3) Shipping Johnson and Boswell.

The moment Boswell meets Johnson is electric.

I'm having so much fun with this one, Johnson is quite often extremely relatable: "I always feel an inclination to do nothing" (p. 268). Going to take a nice break before tackling volume 2. ( )
  jakebornheimer | May 12, 2021 |
A nice little abridged version from the 50s suitable for traveling in both its time and ours. ( )
  JayLivernois | Aug 25, 2020 |
2 v. ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 19, 2020 |
2 v. ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 19, 2020 |
vol 1 1709-1765 & 2 1765 -1776 & 3 1776-1780 & 4 1780-1784
  wellsemp | Dec 26, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (65 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Boswell, Jamesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abbott, Herbert VaughanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Adler. Mortimer J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chadsey, C. P.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Evans, BergenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herzberg, Max J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, George Birkbeck Normansecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rawson, ClaudeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, GordonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shewan, RodneyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tinker, Chauncey B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Womersley, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To write the Life of him who excelled all mankind in writing the lives of others, and who, whether we consider his extraordinary endowments, or his various works, has been equalled by few in any age, is an arduous, and may be reckoned in me a presumptuous task.
Quotations
After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it -- "I refute it THUS."
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Please do not combine this work with its abridged editions, e.g., the Modern Library edition or some Penguin Classics editions.
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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 idealbiographer 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.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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