Making Boswell's Life of Johnson

Making Boswell's Life of Johnson An Author-Publisher and His Support Network - Cambridge Elements. Elements in Eighteenth-Century Connections

Paperback (24 Aug 2023)

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Publisher's Synopsis

This Element throws new light on James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson by investigating its early publication history. Despite precarious psychological and financial circumstances and other limitations, Boswell was both author and publisher of the two-volume quarto edition that appeared in 1791. This study utilizes little-known documents to explore the details and implications of Boswell's risky undertaking. It argues that the success of the first edition was the result not only of Boswell's biographical genius but also of collaboration with a devoted support network, including the bookseller Charles Dilly, the printer Henry Baldwin and his employees, several newspaper and magazine editors, Boswell's 'Gang' (Edmond Malone, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and John Courtenay) and other members of The Club, and Sir William Forbes. Although the muddled second edition (1793) suffered from Boswell's increasing dysfunction in the years before his death in 1795, the resilient Boswellian network subsequently secured the book's exalted reputation.

Book information

ISBN: 9781009271424
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 828.609
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 75
Weight: 172g
Height: 152mm
Width: 228mm
Spine width: 10mm