Introduced by Ian McGowan. Samuel Johnson and James Boswell spent the autumn of 1773 touring the Highlands and Western Islands of Scotland. Both kept detailed notes of their impressions, and later published separate accounts of their journey. These accounts of their great tour contain some of the finest pieces of travel writing ever produced: they are magnificent historical documents and also portraits of two extraordinary personalities. In the vivid prose of these two famous men of letters, the Highlands and the Western Islands spring to life. The juxtaposition of the two very different accounts creates an unsurpassed portrait of a society which was utterly alien to the Europe of the Enlightenment, and which was straining on the brink of calamitous change. These great masterpieces, entertaining, profound, and marvellously readable are also our last chronicles of a lost age and people.
In this thought-provoking parable from esteemed essayist and lexicographer Samuel Johnson, a young prince has been banished to a small, secluded valley until it is his time to ascend to the throne. Will Rasselas be able to find happiness in his exile, or will he choose another course?