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Life of Johnson, Volume 1 1709-1765

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: Boswell's Life of Johnson: The Director's Cut
: "Romantick family solemnity": the biographer as Laird of Auchinleck
: Spectator: The Johnson Circle through the eyes of Hester Thrale Piozzi

wrote two essays in in 1832 in review of Croker's edition; his essay on 'Biography' in issue 27 was followed by 'Boswell's Life of Johnson' in issue 28. Carlyle wanted more than facts from histories and biographies "The thing I want to see is not Redbook Lists and Court Calendars, and Parliamentary Registers, but the LIFE OF MAN in England: what men did, thought, suffered, enjoyed; the form, especially the spirit, of their terrestrial existence, its outward environment, its inward principle; and it was; whence it proceeded, whether it was tending " and this he found in Boswell even (or especially) in the simplest anecdote "Some slight, perhaps mean and even ugly incident if and well presented, will fix itself in a susceptive memory and lie ennobled there". Consequently, "This Book of Boswell’s will give us more real insight into the during those days that twenty other Books, falsely entitled “Histories” which take to themselves that special aim". "How comes it" he asked "that in England we have simply one good Biography, this ?" He shared Macaulay's unfavourable verdict on Croker's efforts of Boswell: "there is simply no edition of Boswell to which this last would seem preferable" but not his view of Boswell. For all his faults Boswell (in part " a foolish, inflated creature, swimming in an element of self-conceit") had had the great good sense to admire and attach himself to Dr Johnson (an attachment which had little to offer materially) and the which Carlyle thought indispensable for and .

Reviews

Day in the Life of a Johnson Kindergartner