Selected Essays

Selected Essays

Samuel Johnson David Womersley / Feb 17, 2020
Selected Essays With his wit eloquence and shrewd perception of contemporary morals Samuel Johnson was the most versatile writer of the English neoclassical period His dictionary dramas and poetry established hi
  • Title: Selected Essays
  • Author: Samuel Johnson David Womersley
  • ISBN: 9780140436273
  • Page: 266
  • Format: Paperback
  • With his wit, eloquence, and shrewd perception of contemporary morals, Samuel Johnson was the most versatile writer of the English neoclassical period His dictionary, dramas, and poetry established his reputation, but it was the essays that demonstrated the range of his talent This new edition presents both the forcefully argued moral pieces of Johnson s middle years andWith his wit, eloquence, and shrewd perception of contemporary morals, Samuel Johnson was the most versatile writer of the English neoclassical period His dictionary, dramas, and poetry established his reputation, but it was the essays that demonstrated the range of his talent This new edition presents both the forcefully argued moral pieces of Johnson s middle years and the light hearted essays of his later work 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.
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      Samuel Johnson David Womersley

    About "Samuel Johnson David Womersley"

      • Samuel Johnson David Womersley

        Samuel Johnson was an English author Beginning as a Grub Street journalist, he made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, novelist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer Johnson has been described as arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history He is also the subject of one of the most celebrated biographies in English, James Boswell s Life of Samuel Johnson Boswell s Life, along with other biographies, documented Johnson s behaviour and mannerisms in such detail that they have informed the posthumous diagnosis of Tourette syndrome TS , a condition unknown to 18th century physicians He presented a tall and robust figure, but his odd gestures and tics were confusing to some on their first encounter with him.Johnson was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, and attended Pembroke College, Oxford for a year, before his lack of funds forced him to leave After working as a teacher he moved to London, where he began to write essays for The Gentleman s Magazine His early works include the biography The Life of Richard Savage and the poem The Vanity of Human Wishes Johnson was a devout and compassionate man, whose Christian morality permeated his works Although he was a conservative Anglican, he respected those of other denominations who demonstrated a commitment to Christ s teachings.After nine years of work, his Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755, bringing him popularity and success until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary, 150 years later, Johnson s was viewed as the preeminent British dictionary In the following years, he published essays, an influential annotated edition of William Shakespeare s plays, and the well read novel Rasselas In 1763, he befriended James Boswell, with whom he later travelled to Scotland Johnson s travel narrative A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland described the journey Towards the end of his life, he produced the massive and influential Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, which includes biographies and evaluations of 17th and 18th century poets After a series of illnesses, Johnson died on the evening of 13 December 1784 he was buried in Westminster Abbey In the years following his death, Johnson began to be recognised as having had a lasting effect on literary criticism, and even as the only great critic of English literature.


    385 Comments

    1. Samuel Johnson s special genius is his ability to address human nature in a way that seems always modern Some stylistic points aside he prefaces his essays with quotes from classical authors that few today have read his language and the matter of his essays would not seem out of place on a 21st Century blog All that would be surprising is their quality, the frankness and rectitude of their moral advice, their optimism about the ability of people to improve themselves, and the gentlemanly tone in [...]


    2. His essays are the reason I love them.There is not a single essay without at least one little phrase or idea to make you think, ponder or smile It s a real pity there isn t a completely affordable version of his Rambler Essays for everyone, as even the lesser of those have something to say.For example, I was reading one last night and came across the phrase, general smile of mankind I love it, so succint and so right.Yes, Johnson uses long sentences and is keen to use a long latinate word he was [...]


    3. In spite of the three stars I gave the book, I very much enjoyed perusing it The essays we re nearly all from the publication that Samuel Johnson wrote nearly daily for several years The subjects cover every thing from deeply philosophical a meanderings to political discussions of the relationship between the British, the French, the north American natives, and the colonists.Some of them are very reliant for all time, and many are reflective of his time.The language, of course, would have been v [...]


    4. This isn t the edition that I have, but no matter Johnson s essays stand as one of the true shining intellectual treasures of his or any other age Sharp, precise, wide ranging, dark but always fringed with a tattered yet resolute sense of hope and unwavering morality Johnson is one of the few writers who doesn t shy away from exploring genuine human frailties and refuses to feel shame on account of our all too humiliating collective or individual habits The writing simply shines, his prose style [...]


    5. There are a few chauvinistic ideas in some of his works which I hated But then one must understand it was the time period and the idiotic ideas of the day Otherwise, I greatly enjoyed Johnson s views on almost every topic imaginable back then I d love to see the man in this day and age with all our science and techno He d probably like it, but with a deep concerning caution Absolutely loved these essays.


    6. I hadn t read Johnson until this book so I felt it was a good introduction or, he s just that good I choose the latter It s a bit trying to read this old style English but fighting through it will allow ideas to be implanted within you that will literally be remembered daily.


    7. Much of what Johnson wrote really gives us a glimpse into 18th century literature and society, particularly citing the role of writing and fiction as a whole.


    8. Samuel Johnson is an interesting mixture of a pompous asshole and a complete genius His insights into human character and tendencies ar every appropriate even for audiences today.


    9. Better than most newspaper editorials I come across, though the taste of all those quotes from the classics is strange on the tongue.


    10. a heavy diet of latinate english, issuing in balanced, cascading clauses oracular in style a sound, sometimes solemn, understanding of human of nature.


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