Samuel Johnson

Standard Name: Johnson, Samuel
Used Form: Dr Johnson
Arriving in eighteenth-century London as one more young literary hopeful from the provinces, SJ achieved such a name for himself as an arbiter of poetry, of morality (through his Rambler and other periodical essays and his prose fiction Rasselas), of the language (the Dictionary), and of the literary canon (his edition of Shakespeare and the Lives of the English Poets) that literary history has often typecast him as hidebound and authoritarian. This idea has been facilitated by his ill-mannered conversational dominance in his late years and by the portrait of him drawn by the hero-worshipping Boswell . In fact he was remarkable for his era in seeing literature as a career open to the talented without regard to gender. From his early-established friendships with Elizabeth Carter and Charlotte Lennox to his mentorship of Hester Thrale , Frances Burney , and (albeit less concentratedly) of Mary Wollstonecraft and Henrietta Battier , it was seldom that he crossed the path of a woman writer without friendly and relatively egalitarian encouragement.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Anne Grant
Her range of literary reference and comment is wide: as well as Richardson (whose Clarissa she unequivocally praises),
Grant, Anne. Letters from the Mountains. Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1809.
2: 45-8
it encompasses Blair , Sterne and Smollett as travel-writers, and Homer . Grant charges Samuel Johnson
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Anne Grant
She likes her reading to be strenuous: she recommends Jane Austen 's Mansfield Park as light reading,
Grant, Anne. Memoir and Correspondence of Mrs. Grant of Laggan. Editor Grant, John Peter, Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844.
2: 68
and says she would be happy to give a whole summer to Laetitia-Matilda Hawkins 's The...
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Laetitia-Matilda Hawkins
This work has been valued chiefly for its anecdotes of Samuel Johnson and Sir Joshua Reynolds . LMH closes the volume on the name of Reynolds (printed in honorific capitals), in an implicit tribute to...
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Anne Grant
These letters were calculated to contribute to Steuart 's projected but never written book on Jacobite attempts on the throne between the Glorious Revolution and the Rebellion of 1745. They include some comment on women's...
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Laetitia-Matilda Hawkins
This work extends and deepens the pictures given in her first book of reminiscences both of Johnson and his circle and of other people including women writers. LMH expresses admiration for Hester Piozzi 's letter...
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Anne Grant
As the title implies, this was written on the model of Anna Letitia Barbauld 's Eighteen Hundred and Eleven, though it also rebukes what AG would have seen as Barbauld's defeatism and failure of...
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Muriel Jaeger
This book is sometimes called a memoir, but its autobiographical moments are only incidental. MJ 's attention is mostly directed towards books and reading; her own experiences of writing, publishing, and having her works performed...
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Frances Burney
Among the pleasures of FB 's life-writing are the way it revels in nonce-words and other innovative uses of language, and the play it makes with dramatic techniques like scene-setting and dialogue. Many famous passages...
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Samuel Beckett
As it stands it focusses less on Thrale than on Anna Williams and the other women actually resident in Johnson 's household.
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Ellis Cornelia Knight
ECK relates her experiences at the English and at various European courts, and includes sketches and anecdotes of famous people she knew, including those of an earlier generation like Samuel Johnson and Frances Reynolds ...
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Geraldine Jewsbury
Zoe reflects GJ 's own lifelong spiritual crisis.
Bloom, Abigail Burnham, editor. Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers. Greenwood Press, 2000.
Susanne Howe notes that it anticipates later novels by Mary Augusta Ward and J. A. Froude , which also deal with spiritual doubt.
Howe, Susanne. Geraldine Jewsbury: Her Life and Errors. George Allen and Unwin, 1935.
Beginning in...
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Elizabeth Montagu
The patriotic element in EM 's reading of Shakespeare is crucial. She magisterially rebukes Voltaire's view of her admired author as having been primitive and unpolished, and seeks to outmanoeuvre the prestige of the French...
Wealth and Poverty Frances Reynolds
FR was to all appearances dependent on her brother for money. He enjoyed the use of his self-made wealth, and commissioned, for instance, a particularly eye-catching carriage, heavily carved and gilded, with the four seasons...
Wealth and Poverty Ellis Cornelia Knight
After her father died in late 1775, while ECK and her mother were spending the winter in London, Lady Knight applied for a widow's pension from the Crown, in a petition drawn up by Dr Johnson
Wealth and Poverty William Congreve
WC was blamed (for instance, by Samuel Johnson in his Lives of the Poets) for leaving a substantial sum of money to the already wealthy duchess although he had needy relations. But the money...


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