Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson : A Biography

3.9 (42 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$23.72

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

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

Try AbeBooks


Poet, essayist, biographer, lexicographer, critic, conversationalist and wit, Dr Johnson is one of the great figures of English literature, perhaps the most quoted English writer after Shakespeare. This new biography illuminates the unknown Johnson: the awkward youth, the unsuccessful schoolmaster, the eccentric marriage, his early years in London in the 1740s scratching a living, the epic struggle to produce the Dictionary. Using material unknown to previous biographers, Peter Martin describes the psychological knife-edge on which Johnson felt he lived, caused by his severe melancholia and his physical diseases. The Samuel Johnson that emerges from this enthralling biography is still the foremost figure of his age but a more rebellious, unpredictable and sympathetic figure than the one that Boswell so memorably more

Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 152 x 234 x 40mm | 780.17g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 24
  • 0753825929
  • 9780753825921
  • 717,391

About Peter Martin

Peter Martin was born in Argentina of English parents and educated there and in America. He has taught English literature in both England and America and written extensively on 18th-century British and American literature and culture. He divides his time between southern Spain and West more

Review quote

'Its virtue lies in the focus on Johnson's humanity: less on the public man, more on his strange character, his depression and physical awkwardness, his piety and generosity - his brave tussles for happiness.' -- James Fergusson SUNDAY TIMES 'an enthralling and original portrait' -- Christopher Hirst INDEPENDENT 'A large and impressive biography of a large and impressive subject...makes you wish someone would invent a time machine so you could go and meet the man in person.' -- Brandon Robshaw INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'makes a strong case for being the definitive work about Johnson' SUNDAY BUSINESS POST 'Though we may feel we know the man through his bon mots, this biography reveals hidden dapths' CATHOLIC HERALD 'A fascinating construction and deconstruction of a literary and social icon and Martin's sympathetic depiction uncovers an unpredictable rebel, but a formidable figure all the same.' HUDDERSFIELD DAILY EXAMINERshow more

Rating details

42 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 24% (10)
4 45% (19)
3 29% (12)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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