Edinburgh-born James Boswell, at twenty-two, kept a daily diary of his eventful second stay in London from 1762 to 1763. This journal, not discovered for more than 150 years, is a deft, frank and artful record of adventures ranging from his vividly recounted love affair with a Covent Garden actress to his first amusingly bruising meeting with Samuel Johnson, to whom Boswell would later become both friend and biographer. The London Journal 1762-63 is a witty, incisive and compellingly candid testament to Boswell's prolific talents.
Few major authors have generated such wildly fluctuating estimates over the years as James Boswell. Both as a writer and as a man, he has stirred debate for more than two centuries. Scholars and critics have differed as to whether his Life of Samuel Johnson, published in 1791, is the finest biography in English or just "a pretty book" of questionable accuracy. One commentator recently argued that his published journals are "the greatest English autobiographical epic," while another has dismissed it as the "diary of a nobody." Boswell has been acclaimed the greatest of modern biographers, but also attacked as a mere sycophant and fool. In this collection drawn from letters, diaries, memoirs, book reviews, and newspaper articles, we learn how contemporaries responded to the same issues that puzzle and divide critics today. From that we see how estimates of James Boswell fluctuated just as wildly in his day as in ours. Lyle Larsen teaches English at Santa Monica College.
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.
This first complete reprint of Boswell's book on Corsica since the eighteenth century is enhanced by comprehensive annotation, textual apparatus, and a critical introduction. Boswell designed his text in two parts: first, an Account of Corsica, which gives a historical, political, socio-economic, and cultural overview of the Corsican people, and second, the Journal of his tour to see the Corsican leader Pascal Paoli in 1765. This edition, unlike so many reprints of just the Journal, allows the reader to appreciate Boswell's original design. The young and adventuresome Boswell wanted to write a book that would swing public opinion, and perhaps the British government, to support the Corsicans in their struggle for independence. He was well aware that his English readers had but the haziest ideas about Corsica gleaned from but snatches of news in the papers. The first part would therefore provide the context within which to understand and appreciate his account of his journey to and meeting with Paoli. The complete text also illustrates aspects of Boswell that have received less attention than they might, namely, his sense of history, his political enthusiasm for national liberty, and his scholarship. He brings to the book a solid foundation in the Classics and the law, a facility in French and Italian, and a sensitivity to writing that, as the notes show, is evident in the reworking of his manuscript. The editors' introduction and the extensive annotation point up Boswell the scholar--assiduous, sedulous to get at the relevant sources, careful to do justice to those he disagreed with, and open about seeking and acknowledging advice. The text reveals Boswell as a serious and independent thinker and a writer committed to Corsica's independence. What he argued for and presumed was about to be achieved is still a matter of debate in Corsica and metropolitan France.
"The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D." (1791) is a biography of Dr. Samuel Johnson written by James Boswell. It is regarded as an important stage in the development of the modern genre of biography; many have claimed it as the greatest biography written in English. While Boswell's personal acquaintance with his subject only began in 1763, when Johnson was 54 years old, Boswell covered the entirety of Johnson's life by means of additional research. The biography takes many critical liberties with Johnson's life, as Boswell makes various changes to Johnson's quotations and even censors many comments. Regardless of these actions, modern biographers have found Boswell's biography as an important source of information. The work was popular among early audiences and with modern critics, but some of the modern critics believe that the work cannot be considered a proper biography. James Boswell (1740–1795) was a lawyer, diarist, and author born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is best known for the biography he wrote of one of his contemporaries, the English literary figure Samuel Johnson, which the modern Johnsonian critic Harold Bloom has claimed is the greatest biography written in the English language.
James Boswell (1740–1795), best known as the biographer of Samuel Johnson, was also a lawyer, journalist, diarist, and an insightful chronicler of a pivotal epoch in Western history. This fascinating collection, edited by Paul Tankard, presents a generous and varied selection of Boswell’s journalistic writings, most of which have not been published since the eighteenth century. It offers a new angle on the history of journalism, an idiosyncratic view of literature, politics, and public life in late eighteenth-century Britain, and an original perspective on a complex and engaging literary personality.
Book by Samuel Johnson, published in 1775. The Journey was the result of a three-month trip to Scotland that Johnson took with James Boswell in 1773. It contains Johnson's descriptions of the customs, religion, education, trade, and agriculture of a society that was new to him. The account in Boswell's diary, published after Johnson's death as The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, with Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1785), offers an intimate personal record of Johnson's behavior and conversation during the trip.
James Boswell forever changed the genre of biography when he painstakingly transformed a scholarly profusion of detail into a perceptive, lifelike portrait of Dr. Samuel Johnson. James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson reveals a man of outsized appetites and private vulnerabilities and is the source of much of what we know about one of the towering figures of English literature. Boswell spent a great deal of time with Johnson in his final years and from his scrupulously accurate memory and copious journal was able to faithfully record the brilliance and wit of Dr. Johnson's conversation. Boswell's aim and achievement was completeness; no detail was too small for him. On this point Dr. Johnson remarked to him, "There is nothing, sir, too little for so little a creature as man." Boswell's thirst for detail makes this indisputably the finest of many biographies of Johnson. This biography gained its unique place in literary history from the fact that its style was revolutionary. The usual style of biographers of that era was to record dry facts from the subject's public life only. Boswell differed by incorporating actual conversations of Dr. Johnson, which Boswell had previously noted down in journals, and by including many more details of personal life. The result revolutionized the genre. For both its subject and its style, The Life of Samuel Johnson is still popular with modern critics and students of the history of English thought and of English literature.
In 1773, an unlikely pair-a dominant figure of English literature and a young lawyer-set out on horseback to follow roads and cattle-trails across the Highlands to the Western Islands of Scotland. Their conversation and accounts are filled with curious detail, flashing wit and fascinating encounters with the high and low of the country.
Stellen Sie sich vor: Ein begeisterungsfähiger junger Mann trifft auf einen Gelehrten, den er abgöttisch bewundert. Über Jahrzehnte begleitet er ihn und hält alles, was sein Idol tut oder sagt, akribisch fest: Wen er besucht, was er isst, mit wem, was dabei geredet wird... Stellen Sie sich vor, der Gelehrte sei geistreich, umfassend gebildet, aufbrausend, schlagfertig, ein höchst widersprüchlicher, freier und faszinierender Geist. Und der junge Mann sei empfindsam und nicht ohne Humor. Dann haben Sie eine Vorstellung von James Boswells Biographie von Dr. Samuel Johnson, dem Schriftsteller, Lexikographen und Literaturpapst des 18. Jahrhunderts. Roger Willemsen liest eine unterhaltsame und verblüffende Auswahl aus dem klassischen Werk - der ideale Einstieg in die berühmteste Biographie der Weltliteratur.