The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell audiobook

The Life of Samuel Johnson

By James Boswell
Read by Bernard Mayes

Blackstone Publishing, Blackstone Publishing
54.66 Hours Unabridged
Format: CD (In Stock)
  • Regular Price: $74.95

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    ISBN: 9781538520697

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  • Regular Price: $59.95

    Special Price $38.97

    ISBN: 9781455125104

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James Boswell forever changed the genre of biography when he painstakingly transformed a scholarly profusion of detail into a perceptive, lifelike portrait of Dr. Samuel Johnson. James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson reveals a man of outsized appetites and private vulnerabilities and is the source of much of what we know about one of the towering figures of English literature. Boswell spent a great deal of time with Johnson in his final years and from his scrupulously accurate memory and copious journal was able to faithfully record the brilliance and wit of Dr. Johnson’s conversation. Boswell’s aim and achievement was completeness; no detail was too small for him. On this point Dr. Johnson remarked to him, “There is nothing, sir, too little for so little a creature as man.” Boswell’s thirst for detail makes this indisputably the finest of many biographies of Johnson. This biography gained its unique place in literary history from the fact that its style was revolutionary. The usual style of biographers of that era was to record dry facts from the subject’s public life only. Boswell differed by incorporating actual conversations of Dr. Johnson, which Boswell had previously noted down in journals, and by including many more details of personal life. The result revolutionized the genre. For both its subject and its style, The Life of Samuel Johnson is still popular with modern critics and students of the history of English thought and of English literature.

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Summary

Summary

James Boswell forever changed the genre of biography when he painstakingly transformed a scholarly profusion of detail into a perceptive, lifelike portrait of Dr. Samuel Johnson.

James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson reveals a man of outsized appetites and private vulnerabilities and is the source of much of what we know about one of the towering figures of English literature. Boswell spent a great deal of time with Johnson in his final years and from his scrupulously accurate memory and copious journal was able to faithfully record the brilliance and wit of Dr. Johnson’s conversation. Boswell’s aim and achievement was completeness; no detail was too small for him. On this point Dr. Johnson remarked to him, “There is nothing, sir, too little for so little a creature as man.” Boswell’s thirst for detail makes this indisputably the finest of many biographies of Johnson.

This biography gained its unique place in literary history from the fact that its style was revolutionary. The usual style of biographers of that era was to record dry facts from the subject’s public life only. Boswell differed by incorporating actual conversations of Dr. Johnson, which Boswell had previously noted down in journals, and by including many more details of personal life. The result revolutionized the genre.

For both its subject and its style, The Life of Samuel Johnson is still popular with modern critics and students of the history of English thought and of English literature.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The effect of [this] biography is also similar to that of War and Peace or Anna Karenina. Just as those novels provide a social history of Russia, so the Life serves as a portrait of late eighteenth-century England. On the title page Boswell claimed that his book exhibits “a View of Literature and Literary Men in Great-Britain, for Near Half a Century,” and the book has shaped posterity’s view of Johnson’s literary world quite as much as it has created an image of Johnson himself.” Masterpieces of World Literature
“Nothing comparable to [The Life of Samuel Johnson] had existed. Nor has anything comparable been written since, because that special union of talents, opportunities, and subject matter has never been duplicated.” Walter Jackson Bate, American literary critic and biographer

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: James Boswell

Author Bio: James Boswell

James Boswell (1740–1795), Scottish man of letters, was born in Edinburgh and studied civil law at Glasgow, but his true ambition was literary fame and the company of great men. In spring 1760 he ran away to London, where he first met Samuel Johnson. He eventually met Voltaire, Rousseau, and Paoli, the hero of Corsica, whom he Boswellized in Account of Corsica, which was an immediate success. In 1773 he was elected to Johnson’s famous literary club. After Johnson’s death and the publication of The Journal of the Tour of the Hebrides, another great success, he began his acknowledged masterpiece, The Life of Samuel Johnson.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 54.66
Audience: Adult
Language: English