The Life of Samuel Johnson, Ll D

Front Cover
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - History - 510 pages
Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1826. Excerpt: ... all times expressed his thoughts with great force, and an elegant ohoice of language, the effect of which was aided by his having a loud voice, and a slow deliberate utterance. In him were united a most logical head with a most fertile imagination, which gave him an extraordinary advantage in arguing; for he could reason close or wide, as he saw best for the moment. Exulting in his intellectual strength and dexterity, he could, when he pleased, be the greatest sophist that ever contended in the lists of declamation; and, from a spirit of contradiction, and a delight in showing his powers, he would often maintain the wrong side with equal warmth and ingenuity; so that, a fancy, bound in by a most logical ratiocination.--His acquaintance was cultivated by the most polite and accurate men, so that his house was an university in less volume, whither they came, not so much for repose as study, and to examine and refine those grosser propositions which laziness and consent made current in conversation." Bayle's account of Menage may also be quoted as exceedingly applicable to the great subject of this work. " His illustrious friends erected a Very glorious monument to him in the collection entitled Menagiana. Those who judge of things right will confess, that this collection is very proper to show the extent of genius and learning which was the character of Menage. And I may be bold to say, that the excellent works he published will not distinguish him from other learned men so advantageously as this. To publish books of great learning, to make Greek and Latin verses exceedingly weli turned, is not a common talent, 1 own; neither is it extremely rare. It is incomparably more difficult to find men who can furnish discourse about an infinite uumber of things, and who can diversify them an ...

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
0
3 stars
1
2 stars
1
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - keithhamblen - LibraryThing

12/22/20 I own the complete set (vol 1-54) and keep them at home on the top west shelf of my office; this includes The Great Conversation (which is volume 1) and The Great Ideas (volumes 2-3, the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - donbuch1 - LibraryThing

This classic series represents the Western canon not without academic controversy. The latest volumes of the Great Books include some women writers, but they are still definitely underrepresented ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2009)

James Boswell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1740 of an old and honored family. As a young man, Boswell was ambitious to have a literary career but reluctantly obeying the wishes of his father, a Scottish Judge, he followed a career in the law. He was admitted to the Scottish bar in 1766. However, his legal practice did not prevent him from writing a series of periodical essays, The Hypochondriac (1777-83), and his Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides (1785), was an account of the journey to the outer islands of Scotland undertaken with Samuel Johnson in 1773. In addition, Boswell wrote the impulsively frank Journals, private papers lost to history until they were discovered by modern scholars and issued in a multivolume set. Known during much of his life as Corsican Boswell for his authorship of An Account of Corsica in 1768, his first considerable work, Boswell now bears a name that is synonymous with biographer. The reason rests in the achievement of his Life of Samuel Johnson published in 1791, seven years after the death of Johnson. Boswell recorded in his diary the anxiety of the long-awaited encounter with Johnson, on May 16, 1763, in the back parlor of a London bookstore, and upon their first meeting he began collecting Johnson's conversations and opinions. Johnson was a daunting subject for a biographer, in part because of his extraordinary, outsized presence and, in part because Johnson himself was a pioneer in the art of literary biography. Boswell met the challenge by taking an anecdotal, year-by-year approach to the wealth of biographical material he gathered. Boswell died in 1795.

Bibliographic information