Boswell's Presumptuous Task

Boswell's Presumptuous Task : The Making of the Life of Dr. Johnson

4 (113 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$16.99

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


James Boswell's "The Life of Samuel Johnson" is the most celebrated of all biographies, acknowledged as one of the greatest and most entertaining books in the English language. Yet Boswell himself has generally been considered little more than an idiot and condemned by posterity as a lecher and drunk. How could such a fool have written such a book? With great wit, Adam Sisman here tells the story of Boswell's presumptuous task-the making of the greatest biography of all time. Sisman traces the friendship between Boswell and Samuel Johnson, his great mentor, and provides a fascinating account of Boswell's seven-year struggle to write "The Life of Samuel Johnson."
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 135.1 x 203.2 x 20.8mm | 326.59g
  • Penguin Books
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0142001759
  • 9780142001752
  • 878,921

About Adam Sisman

Adam Sisman is the author of A. J. P. Taylor: A Biography. He lives with his wife, the novelist Robyn Sisman, and their two children.
show more

Review quote

"Extraordinarily gripping...Sisman skillfully takes us into the biographer's workshop." --The New York Review of Books
"Smart and very readable...a highly affecting portrait of Boswell the writer." --The New York Times Book Review
"[A] sparkling, companionable, and intelligent account...Sisman's approach is attractive and stimulating to anybody interested in the ethics of biography writing." --The Atlantic Monthly
show more

Rating details

113 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 33% (37)
4 40% (45)
3 24% (27)
2 3% (3)
1 1% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X