To the Hebrides: Samuel Johnson's Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and James Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

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Birlinn, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 645 pages
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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 These works contain some of the finest pieces of travel writing ever produced: they are also magnificent historical documents as well as portraits of two extraordinary men of letters.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. 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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About the author (2007)

Samuel Johnson, a bookseller's son from Lichfield, achieved fame as a poet and moral essayist before completing his most famous work, The Dictionary of the English Language.James Boswell had known him for exactly ten years when they set out together for the Hebrides in 1773. Son of a Scottish judge and himself a lawyer, Boswell is celebrated as much for the disarming honesty of his diaries as for his great biography of Johnson.Formerly a lecturer in Celtic at the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, Ronald Black is Gaelic Editor of the Scotsman. As well as various anthologies and studies of eighteenth- and twentieth-century Gaelic verse, he has published The Gaelic Otherworld, a new edition of the folklore collections of the Rev. John Gregorson Campbell of Tiree.

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