Friend and biographer of samuel johnson

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friend and biographer of samuel johnson

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Poet, lexicographer, critic, moralist and Great Cham, Dr. Johnson had in his friend Boswell the ideal biographer.

Notoriously and self-confessedly intemperate, Boswell shared with Johnson a huge appetite for life and threw equal energy into recording its every aspect in minute but telling detail. This irrepressible Scotsman was always studying human nature and making experiments, and the marvelously vivacious Journals he wrote daily furnished him with first-rate material when he came to write his biography.

The result is a masterpiece that brims over with wit, anecdote and originality. Hailed by Macaulay as the best biography ever written and by Carlyle as a book beyond any other product of the eighteenth century, The Life of Samuel Johnson today continues to enjoy its status as a classic of the language.

This shortened version is based on the 1799 edition, the last in which the author had a hand.

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Published 15.12.2018

The Life of Samuel Johnson, Vol. IV by James BOSWELL read by Various Part 1/4 - Full Audio Book

Johnson , was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, literary critic , biographer, editor, and lexicographer.
James Boswell

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But who was Johnson? What else was he known for and why has his legacy endured beyond that of his many illustrious eighteenth century peers? Samuel Johnson was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, the son of a bookseller. Having completed the mammoth task of assembling the dictionary, a commission for which he was handsomely reimbursed, Johnson wrote an analysis of Shakespeare and a biography of his friend Richard Savage, a poet convicted of murder. A rare foray into fiction, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia , followed and proved a commercial success. That circle included such great figures of the age as portrait painter and Royal Academy founder Joshua Reynolds, actor David Garrick, politician Edmund Burke and playwright Oliver Goldsmith. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

Samuel Johnson , byname Dr. Johnson , born September 18, , Lichfield, Staffordshire , England—died December 13, , London , English critic, biographer, essayist, poet, and lexicographer, regarded as one of the greatest figures of 18th-century life and letters. For future generations, Johnson was synonymous with the later 18th century in England. The disparity between his circumstances and achievement gives his life its especial interest. Samuel Johnson was the son of Michael Johnson, a bookseller, and his wife, Sarah. From childhood he suffered from a number of physical afflictions.

Early life

Samuel Johnson /Net

Samuel Johnson. The work was from the beginning a critical and popular success, and represents a landmark in the development of the modern genre of biography. It is notable for its extensive reports of Johnson's conversation. Many have claimed it as the greatest biography written in English, but some modern critics object that the work cannot be considered a proper biography. Boswell's personal acquaintance with his subject began in , when Johnson was 54 years old, and Boswell covered the entirety of Johnson's life by means of additional research.

But Johnson and Savage were friends - intimate friends - in London for about two years in the s. In those dark days in the city, dark for them both in many senses, the position was almost exactly reversed. Johnson was then unknown, and Savage was notorious. Thereby hangs a small but haunting mystery. Sir John Hawkins, Johnson's earliest official biographer, thought the friendship the most inexplicable fact about Johnson's entire career. James Boswell, in a moment of rare agreement with Hawkins, thought much the same: 'Richard Savage: a man, of whom it is difficult to speak impartially, without wondering that he was for some time the intimate companion of Johnson; for his character was marked by profligacy, insolence, and ingratitude. One of the few facts that can be stated without contradiction about Savage was that he died in

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  1. Since the late 18th century James Boswell has been famous for writing " The Life of Johnson ", an epic biography of his friend Samuel Johnson

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