Samuel Johnson and the Culture of Property


Samuel Johnson and the Culture of Property

Kevin Hart traces the vast literary legacy and reputation of Samuel Johnson. Through detailed analyses of the biographers and critics who carefully crafted and preserved Johnson's life for posterity, Hart explores the emergence of "The Age of Johnson." Hart argues that James Boswell turned his friend into a monument, a piece of public property. Through subtle analyses of copyright, forgery and heritage in eighteenth-century life Kevin Hart demonstrates how Johnson came to occupy a place at the heart of the English literary canon.


 Reviews:

"Kevin Hart's Samuel Johnson and the Culture of Property presents Johnson against the background of sweeping changes in the status of property as these were reflected in the British law and culture of his time. The terrain he covers merits our attention." British and American Literature

"The book has many interesting things to say..." J.T. Lynch, Choice

"Kevin Hart's Samuel Johnson and the Culture of Property is a remarkably fresh and original portrait of the strongest western literary critic. Hart precisely shows us both the prudential wisdom and the critical powers of the greatest English sage." Harold Bloom

"...the book is most valuable in its creative examination of the institution of Johnson studies. Let me encourage you to follow Johnson's example and to feel no obligation to read Samuel Johnson and the Culture of Property through. Read the first three chapters; they offer the best of Mr. Hart's work, and his best is very good indeed." SJSSC Newsletter

"...an insightful intervention within the debates ofone of the most venerable institutions of English studies..." Studies in English Literature

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