Synopses & Reviews
This volume collects the most important statements on the English language by Samuel Johnson, one of its greatest expositors and speakers. The book includes scholarly, fully annotated editions of Johnsons main writings on the history, structure, and cultural importance of the English language as well as his reflections on lexicography. These texts represent Johnsons thinking as he undertook and completed the major work of his life, the colossal Dictionary of the English Language.
The editors set Johnsons writings on the English language in historical context and provide the fullest possible account of their composition. Among the works presented in the volume are Johnsons Plan of a Dictionary of the English Language and the Preface to the Dictionary, both of which are counted among his finest works of prose.
"Thanks . . . to the consummate and consummating editors of Johnson on the English Language
: Gwin J. Kolb and Robert DeMaria, Jr. Their cooperation—with one another and with Johnson—is magnificent. Their erudition is immense and yet measured, deep and yet crystalline."—Christopher Ricks, New Criterion
About the Author
Gwin J. Kolb is Chester D. Tripp Professor Emeritus in Humanities, University of Chicago. Robert DeMaria, Jr., is Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English at Vassar College.