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 Edith Somerville
The diary (in the possession of ES 's Coghill relations) is a wonderfully vivid and engaging text, from youth to old age. It delights in anecdote and comicality, but touches the heart with its stark...
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 Mary Wollstonecraft
They included The first book of a series of lessons for children (written for MW 's elder daughter, Fanny Imlay ); a series of personal letters addressed to Imlay (passionately expressive, ruggedly self-analytical), and to...
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...
Intertextuality and Influence Elizabeth Sarah Gooch
ESG quotes on her title-page from James Hammond and early in her first volume from Samuel Johnson (no book was ever spared out of tenderness to the author).
Gooch, Elizabeth Sarah. The Life of Mrs Gooch. Printed for the authoress and sold by C. and G. Kearsley, 1792.
1: 11
The quotation from...
Intertextuality and Influence Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck
MAS adds a new aesthetic category, the contemplative sublime, alongside the Burke an or terrible sublime and other categories related to the Burkean beautiful. She derives her thinking from women as well as men. In...
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 Anne Steele
Surviving prose by AS includes miscellaneous as well as predominantly religious pieces. The Journey of Life, reminiscent of John Bunyan 's The Pilgrim's Progress or Samuel Johnson 's Vision of Theodore, opens with...
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 Johnson 's Rambler. This novel opens with fashionable and effective abruptness: What can I do? These words, spoken in a low tone, and followed by a heart rending sigh, broke on...
Intertextuality and Influence Eliza Kirkham Mathews
The novel which emerged from so much interference during composition is naive, exaggerated, and badly structured, but highly unusual, with great intensity in its writing. Its title-page quotes Thomas Holcroft , and its epigraphs to...
Intertextuality and Influence Hannah More
HM 's prologue (invoking Samuel Johnson as authority) presents domestic subject-matter as more relevant than the fate of empires.
Intertextuality and Influence A. Woodfin
She learns to condemn her parents' treatment of her when she boards in a family who deliberately favour the ugly, deformed one of their young twins, to redress the balance. She feels a great relief...
Intertextuality and Influence Elizabeth Sarah Gooch
It is not clear how much of Bellamy's completed novel ESG actually wrote: as much as the whole of volume three may be hers. Her preface echoes Samuel Johnson when it says the history of...


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