The Life of Samuel Johnson, Hardback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The most celebrated English biography is a group portrait in which extraordinary man paints the picture of a dozen more.

At the centre of a brilliant circle which included Burke, Reynolds, Garrick, Fanny Burney and even George III, Boswell captures the powerful, troubled and witty figure of Samuel Johnson, who towers above them all.

Yet this is also an intimate picture of domestic life, which mingles the greatest talkers of a talkative age with the hero's humbler friends in a picture which is, before all things, humane.

This is a new, corrected, rest and reprinted edition.

At 14. 99 for the complete edition of the Life in 1344 pages, it compares with Penguin's abridged edition of just 300 pages of text at 6. 99 and OUP's World Classics unabridged edition printed on newsprint at 10. 99.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 1281 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: general
  • ISBN: 9781857151015



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This was a very long and wordy book dealing with Johnson's literary and erudite thinking. With over 600 pages Boswell had a huge collection of Samuel Johnson's mind. With time I found myself becoming more attuned to the real character of Johnson through the letters and quotes as recorded by Boswell. The cataloguing of all this material was a real tour de force by Boswell and the real measure of this collection is the way it reflects mainly higher English society of the day. This, I believe, is what makes this book such an important contribution to literature.Certainly, some might find this book difficult to read, possibly even ponderous, what with English style and spelling of the day, not to mention many words that need some research in a modern dictionary to find (e.g. aminadventure).A good read and worth having in most serious libraries today.