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
Intertextuality and Influence Charlotte Nooth
The governess Matilda regrets that there are no professions for women; nothing is to be done but by the sacrifice of our rank in society.
Nooth, Charlotte. Eglantine; or, The Family of Fortescue. Valpy, 1816.
1: 199
She calls herself quite a detached being, alone...
Intertextuality and Influence Anna Letitia Barbauld
Anna Aikin's allegory The Hill of Science seems both to derive from and to comment on Johnson 's Vision of Theodore, while her On Romances is a piece of literary criticism in a pastiche...
Intertextuality and Influence Elizabeth Jolley
EJ invoked as an appropriate description of her own motivation, Flaubert 's dictum that writing comes from an inner wound.
Joussen, Ulla. “An Interview with Elizabeth Jolley”. Kunapipi, Vol.
, No. 2, pp. 37-43.
She said of Johnson 's Rasselas and Goethe 's Elective Affinities (both of which...
Intertextuality and Influence Frances Arabella Rowden
The notes explain many classical allusions and some to more recent literature. The Maid of Greenland, for instance, is Ajut, in Johnson 's Rambler essays 186 and 187.
Rowden, Frances Arabella. The Pleasures of Friendship. A Poem. 1810.
Intertextuality and Influence Harriet Lee
In this last volume HL provides a general frame centred on the lodging-house of Mrs Dixon (a lodging-house whose history has been written, as Samuel Johnson 's Rambler 161 advises). She opens with a dialogue...
Intertextuality and Influence Jane Taylor
Her idiosyncratic humour is well shown in The Toad's Journal. A moral passage at the end of this poem, in a different metre, draws a moral against idleness, or living in vain; but the...
Intertextuality and Influence Medora Gordon Byron
The title-page quotes Milton 's Paradise Lost (There wanted yet the master-work); the preface quotes Samuel Johnson saying that the novelist needs to have first-hand experience of the living world, but that...
Intertextuality and Influence Elizabeth Sarah Gooch
In this first publication ESG stands on her dignity. She opens with a Johnson ian aphorism (Some alleviation of our distresses is always derived from communication)
Gooch, Elizabeth Sarah. An Appeal to the Public. G. Kearsley, 1788.
and closes on a note of...
Intertextuality and Influence Sophia Lee
The plot in some ways echoes that of Richardson 's Pamela. Cecilia Rivers, orphan daughter of a poor and saintly clergyman, comes down in the world and has to earn her living as a...
Intertextuality and Influence Jane Loudon
In prose the opening tale, Julia de Clifford, presents a well-meaning but thoughtless and impulsive heroine who progresses from dressing up as a ghost to scare the servants, to plunging her lover into despair...
Intertextuality and Influence Mary Whateley Darwall
Liberty borrows from Johnson 's newly-published Rasselas the idea of a happy confinement which is not happy. It laments the poet's lack of autonomy.
Messenger, Ann. Woman and Poet in the Eighteenth Century: The Life of Mary Whateley Darwall (1738-1825). AMS Press, 1999.
Intertextuality and Influence Barbara Hofland
The title-page quotes from Spenser , and the first chapter from Johnson 's Rambler. This sophisticated novel, with a North Yorkshire setting, a large cast of upper-class characters, and a wide range of reference...
Intertextuality and Influence Anna Eliza Bray
From an early age, AEB admired Samuel Johnson 's style and adopted elements of his writing methods for her own career, such as keeping a journal of progress.
Bray, Anna Eliza. “Introduction”. Autobiography of Anna Eliza Bray, edited by John A. Kempe, Chapman and Hall, 1884, pp. 1-36.
Intertextuality and Influence Susanna Haswell Rowson
The title-page quotes Samuel Johnson asserting that an author has nothing but his own merits to stand or fall on. The Birth of Genius, an irregular ode, offers advice to my son to love...
Intertextuality and Influence Medora Gordon Byron
This novel turns on a favourite Byron theme: the contrast between domestic and fashionable life. It opens, Above five hundred cards had announced to the fashionable world that lady Cheveril would be at home. It...


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