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A Week in Literary History

September 18th, 2002

Eighteenth-century literary colossus Samuel Johnson is born in Lichfield, 1709.

Samuel Johnson, b. September 18, 1709, d. 1784

johnson.jpgThe Great Cham is the only literary figure of importance, Oscar Wilde excepted, to be remembered as much for his conversation as for his literary work. Even his monumental dictionary (the first systematic, etymological one in the language) and his annotated edition of Shakespeare are less well known than his remarks and ripostes, as lovingly recorded by James Boswell, who eulogized Johnson as “a man whose talents, acquirements, and virtues were so extraordinary, that the more his character is considered, the more he will be regarded by the present age, and by posterity, with admiration and reverence.”

Suggested Reading Essays The Rambler, 1750-52. The Idler, 1758-60. Lexicography Dictionary of the English Language, 1755. Biography Life of Richard Savage, 1744. Lives of the Poets, 1779-81. Poems London, 1738. The Vanity of Human Wishes, 1749. Novel The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, 1759.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: A Week in Literary History, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry


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