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This complete and unabridged edition is the only complete critical
edition in paperback. Samuel Johnson was a poet, essayist,
dramatist, and pioneering lexicographer, but his continuing
reputation depends less on his literary output than on the
fortunate accident of finding an ideal biographer in James Boswell.
As Johnson's constant and admiring companion, Boswell was able to
record not only the outward events of his life, but also the
humour, wit, and sturdy common sense of his conversation. His
brilliant portrait of a major literary figure of the eighteenth
century, enriched by historical and social detail, remains a
monument to the art of biography.
This volume, ninth in the Research Series of correspondence in the Yale Boswell Editions, assembles the bulk of the surviving letters between the young Boswell and his circle of friends and acquaintances in a period crucial to his personal and authorial development, up to the time he wrote his now famous journal in London in 1762-63. Opening with an exchange - rooted in his rebellious adolescent fascination with the Edinburgh theatre - with the gentleman-actor West Digges, it closes with letters written in July 1763 near the end of his second visit to London (the one in which he first met Samuel Johnson), a short time before his reluctant departure for legal study in Utrecht. The volume features centrally the correspondence between Boswell and his friend and literary collaborator Andrew Erskine (1740-93), a poet-soldier of the kind the young Boswell briefly aspired to be. Their surviving letters, printed here alongside the revised versions in the facetious Letters between the Honourable Andrew Erskine, and James Boswell, Esq., Boswell's first book-length publication, and the first to bear his name, offer revealingly early evidence of the kinds of selective self-revision Boswell would employ in his later writings and perfect in the Life of Johnson (1791). Overall, these letters document Boswell's fluid experiments in selfhood as he ponders his life's future possible trajectories - as soldier, lawyer, wit, author, bon-vivant, Scots laird, or M.P. Some thirty-five correspondents are represented in more than 150 letters and other documents (such as verse-epistles), comprehensively annotated to the long-established standards of the Yale Boswell Editions.
A brand new BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of HG Wells's famous story of the brutal Martian invasion of Earth. When strange explosions are observed on the surface of Mars, excitement spreads among the scientific community. Surrey astronomer Ogilvy invites his friend Robert to the observatory to witness the turbulence on the red planet. Ten days later, Ogilvy discovers a strange projectile on Horsell Common - with something inside. Robert rushes to view the craft, and is present when Martians emerge and turn their heat rays on the locals, who are waving white flags. It is the beginning of a merciless invasion... As Robert flees in search of safety, accompanied by a young curate, young soldier Billy experiences the chaos happening in London. As the Martians take control, transforming the landscape and decimating the population, is this the end for the human race? Wells's terrifying science fiction tale, first published in 1898, is both a reflection of Victorian fears of a coming apocalypse and a critique of British imperialism. This enthralling dramatisation asks how humankind would fare if colonised by a vastly superior technological invader. It stars Blake Ritson as Robert, with Samuel James as Billy and Carl Prekopp as the Curate. Duration: 2 hours approx.
This edition, expanded to include the text of letters unavailable at the time of the volume's first publication in 1969, records James Boswell's quest over a period of more than twenty years to amplify his knowledge of his major biographical subject, Samuel Johnson, through a detailed correspondence with a wide network of friends, informants, and other authorities. The volume, with revised and updated annotation, shows not just Boswell's struggles through his personal distresses to gather material for his Life of Johnson, but notes many of his revisions of his sources, changes made in manuscript and proof, and revisions of the first and second editions. It presents letters that illuminate the contemporary reception of his powerfully innovative, controversial, and influential biography (which appeared first in 1791), taking the story as far as exchanges in 1808 between Boswell's friend and editor, Edmond Malone, and his son, James Boswell the younger, about corrections for the sixth edition of 1811. Throughout, the annotation brings to life an extensive range of eighteenth-century figures, issues and topics.The Times Literary Supplement (23 July 1970) found the interest of this 'fascinating' volume threefold: 'It gives fresh evidence of Boswell's scrupulousness, ability and tact; it leads us to a fuller understanding of what people expected from biography, and what were eighteenth-century notions of propriety and accuracy; and it enables us perhaps to define more clearly the achievement of Boswell's masterpiece. ' This corrected and enlarged version (the first edition has been out of print for two decades) will serve as a valuable supplement and companion to the Yale manuscript edition of the Life of Johnson, upon which all future editions of Boswell's biography will need to draw.
In 1773, the great Samuel Johnson–then 63–and his young friend and future biographer, James Boswell, traveled together around the coast of Scotland, each writing his own account of the 83-day journey. Published in one volume, the very different travelogues of this unlikely duo provide a fascinating picture not only of the Scottish Highlands but also of the relationship between two men whose fame would be forever entwined.
Samuel Johnson and James Boswell spent the autumn of 1773 touring the Highlands and the Western Islands of Scotland. Both kept detailed notes of their impressions and later published separate accounts of their journey together. The account of their great tour is one of the finest pieces of travel writing ever produced: it is a magnificent historical document and also a portrait of two extraordinary personalities. In the vivid prose of theses 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 straining on the brink of calamitous change. This great masterpiece, entertaining, profound, and marvellously readable is also our last portrait of a lost age and people.
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