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Rasselas and his companions escape the pleasures of the "happy
valley" in order to make their "choice of life." By witnessing the
misfortunes and miseries of others they come to understand the
nature of happiness, and value it more highly. Their travels and
enquiries raise important practical and philosophical questions
concerning many aspects of the human condition, including the
business of a poet, the stability of reason, the immortality of the
soul, and how to find contentment. Johnson's adaptation of the
popular oriental tale displays his usual wit and perceptiveness;
skeptical and probing, his tale nevertheless suggests that wisdom
and self-knowledge need not be entirely beyond reach. This
sparkling new edition includes an authoritative introduction by
Thomas Keymer relating the story to Johnson's life, thought, and
writings; the rise of the novel genre; and the global context of
the Seven Years War. Extensive annotations relate the novel to its
literary, philosophical, and political contexts.
This authoritative edition was formerly published in the acclaimed Oxford Authors series under the general editorship of Frank Kermode. It brings together a unique combination of Johnson's poetry and prose - all the major poems, complemented by essays, criticism, and fiction - to give the essence of his work and thinking. Samuel Johnson's literary reputation rests on such a varied output that he defies easy description: poet, critic, lexicographer, travel writer, essayist, editor, and, thanks to his good friend Boswell, the subject of one of the most famous English biographies. This volume celebrates Johnson's astonishing talent by selecting widely across the full range of his work. It includes 'London' and 'The Vanity of Human Wishes' among other poems, and many of his essays for the Rambler and Idler. The prefaces to his edition of Shakespeare and his famous Dictionary, together with samples from the texts, are given, as well as selections from A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, the Lives of the Poets, and Rasselas in its entirety. There is also a substantial representation of lesser-known prose, and of his poetry, letters, and journals. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
'If a man is to write A Panegyrick, he may keep vices out of sight; but if he professes to write A Life, he must represent it really as it was.' In the last of his major writings, Samuel Johnson looked back over the previous two centuries of English Literature in order to describe the personalities as well as the achievements of the leading English poets. The major Lives - of Milton, Dryden, Swift, and Pope - are memorable cameos of the life of writing in which Johnson is as attentive to human frailty as to literary prowess. The shorter Lives preserve some of Johnson's most piercing, critical judgements. Unsentimental, opinionated, and quotable, The Lives of the Poets continues to influence the reputations of the writers concerned. It is one of the greatest works of English criticism, but also one of the most humanly diverting. This selection of the Lives of ten of the most important poets draws its text from Roger Lonsdale's authoritative complete edition. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
This scarce antiquarian book is included in our special Legacy Reprint Series. In the interest of creating a more extensive selection of rare historical book reprints, we have chosen to reproduce this title even though it may possibly have occasional imperfections such as missing and blurred pages, missing text, poor pictures, markings, dark backgrounds and other reproduction issues beyond our control. Because this work is culturally important, we have made it available as a part of our commitment to protecting, preserving and promoting the world's literature.
Surprising, colorful, and long-forgotten entries from the most
famous dictionary in the history of the English language
This edition makes available for the first time the largest collection of unpublished material by the great eighteenth-century writer and lexicographer Samuel Johnson in existence. For the revised fourth edition (1773) of Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, Johnson and his amanuensis annotated over one hundred and twenty interleaved folio pages of the first edition, but the printer for unknown reasons failed to include the corrections. These pages, including hundreds of authorial additions and changes to the text, are reproduced here in facsimile, along with a transcription, an extensive commentary and notes. This extraordinary archive offers a unique record of Johnson's methods of revision, his collaboration with his assistants, and the preparation of printer's copy in general. Johnson's deletion and editing of hundreds of new quotations, notes, and definitions contributed by others sheds much new light on his intentions for his work and his attitudes towards language and literature.
‘There is nothing more dreadful to an author than neglect, compared with which reproach, hatred and opposition are names of happiness’
With his wit, eloquence and shrewd perception of contemporary morals, Samuel Johnson was the most versatile of Augustan writers. His dictionary, dramas and poetry established his reputation, but it was the essays published in The Rambler, The Adventurer and The Idler that demonstrated the range of his talent. Tackling ethical questions such as the importance of self-knowledge, awareness of mortality, the role of the novel, and, in a lighter vein, marriage, sleep and deceit, these brilliant and thought-provoking essays are a mirror of the time in which they were written and a testament to Johnson’s stature as the leading man of letters of his age.
This new edition contains a broad selection of essays presenting both the forcefully argued moral pieces of Johnson’s middle years and the more light-hearted essays of his later work. The introduction places the works in their historical and literary context, and there is also a chronology of Johnson’s life and times.
Well before publishing the Lives of the Poets, Samuel Johnson was an accomplished biographer, having written the lives of numerous scholars, scientists, philosophers, critics, and theologians (including Peter Burnham, Sir Thomas Browne, and Confucius) as well as select military and political men (such as Sir Francis Drake, Admiral Blake, and Frederick the Great). This volume contains these earlier biographies as well as epitaphs and obituaries for ordinary individuals with whom Johnson shared a personal connection. This collection of life writing displays Johnson performing in his favorite literary genre in the many years before he wrote his celebrated Lives of the Poets.
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.
The next volume in the distinguished Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson comprises prefaces, proposals, dedications, appeals, and other works that Johnson wrote for friends and acquaintances. The English critic, biographer, and poet Samuel Johnson was among the most influential figures of the eighteenth century. This twentieth and final volume of the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson presents the author's occasional writings, including prefaces, proposals, dedications, introductions, book reviews, public letters, appeals, and school exercises. Notably, it includes the letters and addresses that Johnson wrote for the convicted clergyman William Dodd. Edited by O M Brack, Jr., and Robert DeMaria, Jr., this volume brings a treasure trove of Johnson's lesser-known writings to a contemporary audience.
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