To the Hebrides: Samuel Johnson's Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and James Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides
Samuel Johnson and James Boswell spent the autumn of 1773 touring through the Lowlands and Highlands of Scotland as far west as the islands of Skye, Raasay, Coll, Mull, Inchkenneth and Iona. Both kept detailed notes of their impressions, and later published separate accounts of their journey. These works contain some of the finest pieces of travel writing ever produced. They are also magnificent historical documents as well as portraits of two extraordinary men of letters. Together they paint a vivid picture of a society which was still almost unknown to the Europe of the Enlightenment. Entertaining, profound, and marvellously readable, they are a valuable chronicle of a lost age and a fascinating people.Samuel Johnson became famous as a poet and a moral essayist before completing his most famous project, The Dictionary of the English Language. James Boswell met Samuel Johnson in 1763, when the two began their trip around the Hebrides, and is celebrated not only as Johnson’s biographer but also for the disarming honesty of his personal diaries.For the first time, Ronald Black’s edition brings together Johnson’s and Boswell’s accounts of each of the six stages of the two men’s journey – Lowlands, Skye, Coll, Mull and back to the mainland. Illustrated with prints by Thomas Rowlandson, it includes a critical introduction, translations of the Latin texts and brief notes.
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