The Latin Poems
This edition of Johnson's Latin Poems contains a Preface and Introduction followed by text, translation (prose), and brief notes on the poems. Several corrections have been made to the standard text. The notes deal with the obscurities and provide comment on style and treatment. It is often interesting to see how Johnson uses his Latin sources, especially Horace, to add a dimension to his meaning. There are numerous links with familiar episodes in Johnson's life, e.g., his trip to the Hebrides, the revision of his dictionary, his recovery from illness; and there are instances (notable in the anguished appeals for mercy in his prayers), where the more distant Latin form enables Johnson to say things about himself that he would never have expressed in English. The reader will find new details added to the well-loved portrait.
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