Samuel Johnson, from early boyhood, lived with the knowledge that his homely face, large and ungainly body, loud voice, and odd mannerisms put people off. He later confessed that he had never made an effort to please others until past thirty, "considering the matter as hopeless." Yet he managed to gather about him as friends, especially during the last quarter of his life, some of the most fascinating and accomplished people of the day. These friendships were not always smooth, and some did not last, but Johnson valued the individuals nonetheless. Actor, painter, playwright, novelist, Greek scholar, miscellaneous writer, biographer, leading bluestocking, wealthy man-of-fashion: they represented a wide range of talents and personalities. Johnson brought them together as a group, and all testified that in knowing him they became far better persons than they otherwise would have been.
This book focuses on ten key figures, aside from Johnson himself, of the so-called Johnson circle. It explores their characters, their contributions to society, their relationships with one another, and their indebtedness to Samuel Johnson.
Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Number of pages: 348
Weight: 721 g
Dimensions: 239 x 157 x 27 mm