By Samuel Johnson
Edited by John Hawkins
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2011
Online Publication Date:March 2012
Original Publication Year:1787
Subjects: English literature 1700-1830 , Renaissance and early modern literature
Dr Samuel Johnson (1709–84) is regarded as one of the outstanding figures of English literature, as a poet, essayist, moralist, critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. This collected edition of his works – commissioned by the publisher within hours of Johnson's death, such was his celebrity – was published in 1787 in eleven volumes, edited by his literary executor, the musicologist Sir John Hawkins. Volume 1 is entirely devoted to a biography of Johnson by Hawkins, his close friend. Although Boswell's 1791 Life is much better known, Hawkins had been acquainted with Johnson for far longer, and was present at his death. Although his narrative is less colourful than that of Boswell, he had a better understanding of some aspects of Johnson's character, especially regarding his religious beliefs, and Boswell did not hesitate to borrow from this work.
No references available.