Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson

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Product details

  • Paperback | 597 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.34g
  • United Kingdom
  • 0156792605
  • 9780156792608

Review Text

This is certain to get significant review space and to be hailed as a memorable publication by scholars. But, frankly, I cannot see a popular sale for it, unless it be through "intellectual snob appeal". Krutch has done an exhaustive piece of scholarship in weighing the contemporary sources, the evidence presented in various and sometimes conflicting records, and has presented Samuel Johnson through the eyes of those who know him best (not only Boswell, but Mrs. Thralo and Fanny Burnoy) - and through the evidence of his own writings. As a biography, I found it pretty heavy going; one gets little sense of either the man or his period; as a critical study, it was enlightening, placing Johnson's works in proper perspective, indicating how and why his contribution was significant, what he give the literary world in setting up new milestone, new standards of philology, of literary criticism, of biography. The making of the legend of the man - his intimates - his pensioners - his contemporaries and fellow members in the famous Club - all more important than Johnson as a human being, distinguished chiefly as conversationalist, as a professional in the world of letters, as a man who "seldom fails to be memorable even when he's wrong". The publishers are backing it with $5,000 appropriation. (Kirkus Reviews)
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