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release date: Nov 19, 2008
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The Life of Samuel Johnson (Penguin Classics)
In Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, one of the towering figures of English literature is revealed with unparalleled immediacy and originality, in a biography to which we owe much of our knowledge of the man himself. Through a series of richly detailed anecdotes, Johnson emerges as a sociable figure, vigorously engaging and fencing with great contemporaries such as Garrick, Goldsmith, Burney and Burke, and of course with Boswell himself. Yet anxieties and obsessions also darkened Johnson's private hours, and Boswell's attentiveness to every facet of Johnson's character makes this biography as moving as it is entertaining.

In this entirely new and unabridged edition, David Womersley's introduction examines the motives behind Boswell's work, and the differences between the two men that drew them to each other. It also contains chronologies of Boswell and Johnson, appendices and comprehensive indexes, including biographical details.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
release date: Aug 01, 2008
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Life of Johnson (Oxford World's Classics)
This complete and unabridged edition is the only complete critical edition in paperback. Samuel Johnson was a poet, essayist, dramatist, and pioneering lexicographer, but his continuing reputation depends less on his literary output than on the fortunate accident of finding an ideal biographer in James Boswell. As Johnson's constant and admiring companion, Boswell was able to record not only the outward events of his life, but also the humour, wit, and sturdy common sense of his conversation. His brilliant portrait of a major literary figure of the eighteenth century, enriched by historical and social detail, remains a monument to the art of biography.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
release date: Jan 11, 1993
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The Life of Samuel Johnson (Everyman's Library)

The most celebrated English biography is a group portrait in which extraordinary man paints the picture of a dozen more. At the centre of a brilliant circle which included Burke, Reynolds, Garrick, Fanny Burney and even George III, Boswell captures the powerful, troubled and witty figure of Samuel Johnson, who towers above them all. Yet this is also an intimate picture of domestic life, which mingles the greatest talkers of a talkative age with the hero's humbler friends in a picture which is, before all things, humane.

As a young man about London, James Boswell was obsessed by literature, and, on a fateful day in 1763, he attached himself with unswerving tenacity to the dominant literary figure of his age—the splendidly rotund, articulate, and humane Dr Samuel Johnson. What followed was the most famous of friendships between writers and the bais for the remarkable documentation contained in Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, the greatest and most compelling of all biographies.

(Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed)

release date: Feb 20, 2012
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The Life of Samuel Johnson (Library Edition)
[This is the Audiobook CD Library Edition in vinyl case.]

[Read by Bernard Mayes]

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.
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release date: Oct 26, 2010
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London Journal 1762-1763 (Penguin Classics)
The journals of a legendary Scottish writer

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.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
release date: Sep 04, 1984
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A Journey to the Western Islands Scotland
"I mentioned our design to Voltaire," wrote Boswell. "He looked at me as if I had talked of going to the North Pole …"

As it turned out, Johnson enjoyed their Scottish journey (although the land was not quite so wild and barbaric as perhaps he had hoped), and Boswell delighted in it. The year was 1773, they were sixty-three and thirty-two years old, and had been friends for ten years. Their journals, published together here, perfectly complement each other. Johnson's majestic prose and hawk eye for curious detail take in everything from the stone arrowheads found in the Hebrides, to the 'medicinal' waters of Loch Ness and "the mischiefs of emigration." Meanwhile, it is very lucky that as Johnson was observing Scotland, Boswell was observing Johnson. His record is perceptive, highly entertaining and full of sardonic wit; for him, as for us, it is an appetizer for The Life of Johnson.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
release date: Aug 30, 1979
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The Life of Samuel Johnson (Penguin Classics)

The most celebrated English biography is a group portrait in which extraordinary man paints the picture of a dozen more

At the centre of a brilliant circle which included Burke, Reynolds, Garrick, Fanny Burney and even George III, Boswell captures the powerful, troubled and witty figure of Samuel Johnson, who towers above them all. Yet this is also an intimate picture of domestic life, which mingles the greatest talkers of a talkative age with the hero's humbler friends in a picture which is, before all things, humane.

As a young man about London, James Boswell was obsessed by literature, and, on a fateful day in 1763, he attached himself with unswerving tenacity to the dominant literary figure of his age—the splendidly rotund, articulate, and humane Dr Samuel Johnson. What followed was the most famous of friendships between writers and the bais for the remarkable documentation contained in Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, the greatest and most compelling of all biographies.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

release date: May 10, 2004
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Boswell's London Journal, 1762-1763

In 1762 James Boswell, then twenty-two years old, left Edinburgh for London. The famous Journal he kept during the next nine months is an intimate account of his encounters with the high-life and the low-life in London. Frank and confessional as a personal portrait of the young Boswell, the Journal is also revealing as a vivid portrayal of life in eighteenth-century London. This new edition includes an introduction by Peter Ackroyd, which discusses Boswell’s life and achievement.

“Boswell was the most charming companion in the world, and London becomes his dining-room and his playground, his club and his confessional. No celebrant of the London world can ignore his book.”—Peter Ackroyd, from the introduction

 

“Boswell was the most charming companion in the world, and London becomes his dining-room and his playground, his club and his confessional. No celebrant of the London world can ignore his book.”—Peter Ackroyd, from the Introduction

 

Praise for the earlier edition:

"[The journal is] more perceptive and uninhibited and magically alive than one could have hoped. . . . Boswell transforms the most trifling occurrences into adventures, and imparts to the reader his own surpassing lust for experience and his keen sense of the fascination of life."—Austin Wright, Virginia Quarterly Review

 

"The journal is admirably edited and annotated.”—W. H. Auden, New Yorker

 

The late Frederick Pottle, Sterling Professor of English Emeritus at Yale University, was editor, bibliographer, and biographer of James Boswell. Peter Ackroyd is the author of London: The Biography, The Life of Thomas More, Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination, and many other books.

 

release date: Sep 06, 2020
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Boswell: The Ominous Years, 1774-1776 (The Yale editions of the private papers of James Boswell)
, 379 pages, black and white illustrations including a map
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release date: Sep 06, 2020
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Boswell: Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (Great Books Of The Western World, Vol. 44 )
The great books are pre-eminently those which have given the western tradition its life and light.
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