Manual The Age of Elizabeth in the Age of Johnson

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  1. Johnson, Samuel (1709–1784)
  2. The Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page: Time Line
  3. Age of Elizabeth in the Age of Johnson
  4. User Contributions:
  5. Johnson and His Age

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Overview Jack Lynch explores eighteenth-century British conceptions of the Renaissance, and the historical, intellectual, and cultural uses to which the past was put. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. Anniversary Essays on Johnson's Dictionary. Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, the first great English dictionary and one of the most famous books in the English language, appeared in April To commemorate the th anniversary, this volume brings together fourteen original essays by View Product.

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Johnson, Samuel (1709–1784)

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It's Tom's birthday. But his parents and sister haven't got time to go out with him. Then he finds a bag and September 7, [1] — December 13, , often referred to simply as Dr. Johnson , was an English poet, essayist, lexicographer, biographer, and iconic literary critic. Although his literary output is relatively meager—he wrote only one novel, one play, and only a small volume of poems—his intellectual breadth and contributions as a public man of letters were so imposing that the late eighteenth century is often termed the Age of Johnson.

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The Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page: Time Line

Johnson, more than any other author in English up to his time, became a public figure of tremendous fame and influence; he was perhaps the first author-celebrity in the English-speaking world. His influence on the opinions not only of his fellow writers but on every intellectual in England and the colonies was perhaps only equaled a century later by Coleridge.


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Johnson's hatred of slavery and the abuses of colonialism, his moral framework and notable acts of private charity, influenced later ethical novelists such as Jane Austen , Charles Dickens and George Eliot. Scholar H.

Age of Elizabeth in the Age of Johnson

Donner has said that no critic since Aristotle "carried more weight" than Johnson; and Christian thinker and novelist C. Lewis included Johnson with Jesus and Socrates as the three most authoritative voices in the history of Western moral culture. Johnson was the author of the early and authoritative Dictionary of the English Language , which adopted the novel approach of documenting the changing usage of words. Compiled over nine years of nearly single-handed work, the dictionary provided definitions of more than 40, terms and included some , quotations of usage drawn from countless scholarly sources.

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The dictionary remained the definitive reference on the English language until the appearance of the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, published in installments from to The son of a poor bookseller, Johnson was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire. He attended Lichfield Grammar School. A few weeks after he turned nineteen, on October 31, , he entered Pembroke College, Oxford; he was to remain there for 13 months.

Though he was a formidable student, poverty forced him to leave Oxford without taking a degree. He attempted to work as a teacher and schoolmaster; initially turned down by Reverend Samuel Lea headmaster of Adams' Grammar School , Johnson found work at a school in Stourbridge, but these ventures were not successful. At the age of 25, he married Elizabeth "Tetty" Porter, a widow 21 years his senior. In , Johnson, penniless, left for London together with his former pupil, David Garrick.

For the next three decades, Johnson wrote biographies, poetry, essays, pamphlets, parliamentary reports and even prepared a catalogue for the sale of the Harleian Library. Johnson lived in poverty for much of this time.

Johnson and His Age

Important works of this period include the poem, "London" , and the Life of Savage , a biography of Johnson's friend and fellow writer Richard Savage, who had shared in Johnson's poverty and died in Johnson began on one of his most important works, A Dictionary of the English Language, in It was not completed until Although it was widely praised and enormously influential, Johnson did not profit from it much financially since he had to bear the expenses of its long composition.

At the same time he was working on his dictionary, Johnson was also writing a series of semi-weekly essays under the title The Rambler. These essays, often on moral and religious topics, tended to be graver than the title of the series would suggest. The Rambler ran until Although not originally popular, they found a large audience once they were collected in volume form.

Johnson's wife died shortly after the final number appeared. Johnson began another essay series, The Idler, in It ran weekly for two years. The Idler essays were published in a weekly news journal, rather than as an independent publication, like The Rambler. They were shorter and lighter than the Rambler essays. In , Johnson published his satirical novel Rasselas, said to have been written in two weeks to pay for his mother's funeral.

In , Johnson was awarded a government pension of three hundred pounds per year, largely through the efforts of influential friends. Johnson met James Boswell , his future biographer, in