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BRINGING WORLDS TOGETHER In the Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, Boswell successfully brought together his two worlds—that of Scotland and that of London. Samuel Johnson is a microcosm of London—with its sophistication, its mental energy, its style, and its prejudices. Boswell was able to bridge, reconcile, and even merge the two worlds by his unwavering reverence for Johnson, and his unshakable belief in the essential goodness of his native Scotland and its inhabitants. Boswell did not try to explain away Johnson’s idiosyncrasies (or even his faults) as somehow the result of some misunderstanding on the part of their Scottish interlocutors, and he did not try to disguise the nature of the Scots to Johnson. Boswell also was not embarrassed by the impression Johnson made on the Scots, nor the Scots on Johnson. He simply let everyone be who they were, and assumed the best on everyone’s part. Boswell clearly embodies the best of both worlds. The book is charming in the anecdotes and the reported conversations. I did have much difficulty in distinguishing many of the Scots from one another, as they almost all seemed to be named Mr. M’Leod. However, that probably could not much be helped as the clan name was (is?) so prevalent in the Western islands of Scotland. It was of much interest to see how important the concept of hospitality was in those days before instant communication. The travelers could expect to have meals and lodging provided by their social peers wherever they happened to travel. This book does not provide many descriptions of the geography or scenery of the Hebrides, but is more a memorandum of those with whom Boswell and Johnson dined, and stayed, and conversed. It would be fun while traveling in Scotland in the twenty first century to have a companion book setting out the route and the stopping places mentioned in the Journal, with references to the particular passages referring to each place, annotated for what has happened to any landmarks that are no longer there, or are substantially modified.
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
In 1773 James Boswell (age 33) convinced his older friend Samuel Johnson (age 64) to go on a 4 month tour of Scotland. Boswell took on the role of tour guide and confidant introducing Johnson to the "lairds" and "chiefs" of Boswell's native Scotland. For Johnson, it was his first trip outside of England. They each wrote a travel book, with Johnson focusing on Scotland, and Boswell on Johnson. Boswell's Tour is something of a literary breakthrough. At the time it was not considered good manners to be too specific about ones personal habits but Boswell often talks about seemingly mundane things that for a modern reader would seem normal in a travelogue but for the day was scandalous. Boswell repeated conversations with well known figures that didn't portray them in a glowing light and this resulted in years of tit-for-tat newspaper editorial attacks and defenses. Later editions would include letters, apologies and defenses. Today with all the personalities long dead it seems like a Hollywood tabloid. In the context of the times, Johnson and Boswell were seen by some critics as outsiders gatecrashing the establishment - Johnson was a provincial "hack" as one Londoner called him, and Boswell was Scottish, damning enough on its own, but with a personal reputation as a "rouge" (ladies man) and heavy drinker (demons that would follow him to the grave). However their reputations as towering figures of the Enlightenment would soon be solidified, further increasing the popularity of this book. As a work of literature Boswell's account is warm and endearing. Johnson and Boswell are Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, respectively. Boswell at once mythologizes Johnson hanging on his every word, a great master who can say no falsehood, and at the same time makes him into a lovable blundering traveler. Certainly Charles Dickens' Mr. Pickwick of the Pickwick Papers was influenced by Boswell's Johnson. As travel literature Boswell's observations of Scottish life are valuable. Boswell had an excellent memory and kept a daily diary so we have very exact details of food and conversation, although Boswell did not think much of scenery or geography. Tour to the Hebrides was a best-seller from its first publication and is still widely read. Its influence is probably hard to quantify, it was partly responsible for popularizing the English tradition of traveling to Scotland which would be so common among the literary set in the late 18th and 19th centuries (and to this day). One can only wonder how many travelers have re-traced Johnson and Boswell on a literary vacation. In the early 20th century a cache of Boswell's unpublished papers were discovered in a castle, among them the complete unedited manuscript of the Tour. This was published in 1936, it is substantially different, with many passages cut from the original restored, it is the better and recommended. --Review by Stephen Balbach, via CoolReading (c) 2008 cc-by-nd
A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and the Journal of a Tour to ...
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The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Autor: Boswell, James. Precio: $900 MN Normalmente se envía en 7 días ...
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The Journal Of A Tour To The Hebrides With Samuel Johnson, Ll.D. The Echo Library (United Kingdom), 2006 Paperback, 216 stran Velikost: 229x152 mm ...
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