Journey to the Hebrides

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Canongate, 1996 - History - 493 pages
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Samuel Johnson and James Boswell spent the autumn of 1773 touring the Highlands and Western Islands of Scotland. Both kept detailed notes of their impressions, and later published separate accounts of their journey. These accounts of their great tour contain some of the finest pieces of travel writing ever produced: they are magnificent historical documents and also portraits of two extraordinary personalities. In the vivid prose of these two famous men of letters, the Highlands and the Western Islands spring to life. The juxtaposition of the two very different accounts creates an unsurpassed portrait of a society which was utterly alien to the Europe of the Enlightenment, and which was straining on the brink of calamitous change. These great masterpieces, entertaining, profound, and marvellously readable are also our last chronicles of a lost age and people. Introduced by Ian McGowan.

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About the author (1996)

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) is perhaps best known for his A Dictionary of the English Language, and The Lives of the English Poets. He was an essayist and review-writer, and produced important records of parliamentary debates. Johnson was a critical and fascinating chronicler of his time. Journey to the Hebrides: A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland & The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides by Samuel Johnson and James Boswell was published by Canongate in 2001.James Boswell (1740 -1795) , the son of an Ayrshire judge, was also an essayist and a member of Johnson's Literary Club (others included Goldsmith and Adam Smith). This ambitious and volatile man was certainly an intriguing character and an important portraitist, but is widely recognised as the author of the vivid The Life of Samuel Johnson.

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