London Journal, 1762-1763

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McGraw-Hill, 1950 - Literary Criticism - 370 pages
Published for the first time in 1950, this "lost" classic sets forth the events of nine momentous months in the life of the 22-year-old James Boswell, later to become the biographer of Samuel Johnson. It is an account of Boswell's personal struggle for independence from his family, and for self-preservation ...

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User Review  - MrsLee - LibraryThing

I only read as far as February 1763. At first it was interesting, some of his ramblings were amusing. But it soon descended into the egotistical spouting of an adolescent male. He tries on ... Read full review

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User Review  - xenchu - LibraryThing

Boswell is one of my favorite authors because of his great work Life of Johnson. Reading the London journal provides a glimpse of the work to come much later. He can be vain and silly but he ... Read full review


Introduction by Frederick A Pottle l
Appendix i

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About the author (1950)

James Boswell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1740 of an old and honored family. As a young man, Boswell was ambitious to have a literary career but reluctantly obeying the wishes of his father, a Scottish Judge, he followed a career in the law. He was admitted to the Scottish bar in 1766. However, his legal practice did not prevent him from writing a series of periodical essays, The Hypochondriac (1777-83), and his Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides (1785), was an account of the journey to the outer islands of Scotland undertaken with Samuel Johnson in 1773. In addition, Boswell wrote the impulsively frank Journals, private papers lost to history until they were discovered by modern scholars and issued in a multivolume set. Known during much of his life as Corsican Boswell for his authorship of An Account of Corsica in 1768, his first considerable work, Boswell now bears a name that is synonymous with biographer. The reason rests in the achievement of his Life of Samuel Johnson published in 1791, seven years after the death of Johnson. Boswell recorded in his diary the anxiety of the long-awaited encounter with Johnson, on May 16, 1763, in the back parlor of a London bookstore, and upon their first meeting he began collecting Johnson's conversations and opinions. Johnson was a daunting subject for a biographer, in part because of his extraordinary, outsized presence and, in part because Johnson himself was a pioneer in the art of literary biography. Boswell met the challenge by taking an anecdotal, year-by-year approach to the wealth of biographical material he gathered. Boswell died in 1795.

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