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
Friends, Associates Frances Reynolds
FR became a good friend of Samuel Johnson , who by late 1764 was writing to her as My Dearest Dear.
Johnson, Samuel. The Letters of Samuel Johnson. Editor Redford, Bruce, Princeton University Press.
1: 246
He also distinguished her with a nickname, Renny. One of...
Friends, Associates Anna Seward
Acquainted with Hester Piozzi (and an admirer of her wit),
Seward, Anna. Letters of Anna Seward. Editor Constable, Archibald, Vol.
6 vols.
, A. Constable.
2: 102
AS was long but less warmly acquainted with Johnson . She accused him both of malice (repeatedly) and of liking only worshippers...
Friends, Associates Helen Maria Williams
There she began to frequent Elizabeth Montagu 's bluestocking circle. She was introduced in cultural circles by Andrew Kippis , minister of the church her family attended, and soon knew William Hayley , Sarah Siddons
Friends, Associates Oliver Goldsmith
Goldsmith met and became a friend and associate of Edmund Burke , Samuel Johnson , Sir Joshua Reynolds , and others belonging to the Club, of which he was a founder member. He was a...
Friends, Associates Frances Sheridan
In London they quickly acquired an influential and highly talented circle of friends, including Samuel Johnson , Samuel Richardson , Edward Young , Frances Brooke , Sarah Scott , and Sarah Fielding . Richardson admired...
Friends, Associates Mary Jones
Samuel Johnson , visiting Oxford, boasted to MJ of the closeness of his friendship with Charlotte Lennox ; a few months later Jones wrote to Lennox, to say she would be visiting London soon.
Isles, Duncan. “The Lennox Collection (Continued)”. Harvard Library Bulletin, Vol.
, No. 1, pp. 36-60.
Friends, Associates Sarah Trimmer
In London, Sarah met William Hogarth , Thomas Gainsborough , Sir Joshua Reynolds , and Dr Samuel Johnson . She attracted Johnson's notice by producing from her pocket a copy of Paradise Lost, when...
Friends, Associates Hester Mulso Chapone
Hester Mulso became a member of Samuel Richardson 's circle (as depicted in the well-known drawing by Susanna Highmore ), and engaged with him in lively debate on the position, status, and duties of unmarried...
Friends, Associates Hannah More
Here she began to gather the circle of friends which by the end of her long life had touched every cranny of English society. She had already met Edmund Burke in Bristol the previous September...
Friends, Associates Mary Palmer
MP and her husband entertained her brother Joshua , sister Frances , and Samuel Johnson , sharing the hostess honours for several days with her married sister Elizabeth Johnson, who lived nearby.
Clifford, James L. Dictionary Johnson. McGraw-Hill.
Friends, Associates Laetitia-Matilda Hawkins
Visitors to her parents' house included Oliver Goldsmith and Samuel Johnson , whom the Hawkins children nicknamed Polyphemus, after the one-eyed giant in the Odyssey.
Hawkins, Laetitia-Matilda. Memoirs, Anecdotes, Facts and Opinions. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, and C. and J. Rivington.
1: 86
After Johnson's death, John Hawkins was...
Friends, Associates Radagunda Roberts
Though very little is known of RR 's life, she was well acquainted with at least one other woman writer: Frances Brooke (whose son attended St Paul's while Roberts's brother was High Master, and who...
Friends, Associates Mary Jones
MJ corresponded with Charlotte Lennox and with publisher Ralph Griffiths and his wife Isabella . Her friendship was valued by literary men like Samuel Johnson , Joseph Spence , Thomas Warton , and apparently Bonnell Thornton
Friends, Associates Mary Wollstonecraft
Newington Green was a fortunate place for MW to have settled: it was a centre of intellectual Dissent. There she met the radical minister Richard Price , the poet Samuel Rogers , and the teacher...
Friends, Associates Mary Deverell
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography notes both that MD received patronage from Bristol heiress Ann Lovell Gwatkin , and that Hannah More emphatically did not take to her, though their paths must repeatedly have...


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