Synopses & Reviews
In this major revision of The Life of Samuel Johnson,
Robert DeMaria makes a compelling claim for the attention of a new generation of Johnson's readers and admirers.
Even as a child Johnson relied on his extraordinary powers of mind to distinguish himself from his family and to propel him into broader intellectual and social milieux. His hero was Joseph Scaliger and he dreamt of becoming a Latin scholar-poet, a citizen like Scaliger of the European republic of letters. His efforts and talents were remarkable. But financial and personal circumstances prevented him achieving his early dreams. Robert DeMaria describes his subject in terms of Johnson's own personal and professional hopes for himself and gets closer to the historical man than any previous study of the complete life and works.
"DeMaria's excellent revision of Johnson the scholar..." TES
"DeMaria is himself a fine commentator, and some of his paraphrases outshine the originals..." Bostonia
"DeMaria's scrupulous patient exploration of the career in all its aspects is - right down to his book's informative and skillful Notes and Index - a heroic undertaking. He has carried it out beautifully." Professor William H. Pritchard, Amherst
"DeMaria's penetrating biography..." Gwin J. Kolb
"Balanced, incisive, and wide-ranging..." Bruce Redford
"Robert DeMaria has written a learned and at times provocative work which undoubtedly adds to our understanding of the great man." The Times
"Robert DeMaria has very nearly done it ... a thoroughly serious, even solemn Johnson." Keith Walker, TLS
"This is a fine and original critical account." Literary Review
"A pleasantly written, useful introduction to Johnson's writing." Library Journal
"A very readable account." Times Educational Supplement
"Johnson observed that people require reminding more often than instructing. Demaria's study provides both." Magill's Literary Annual 1994
"Demaria's biography is a balanced book, and - as one might expect - a learned one." Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
"An erudite, fact-packed work that delves into the social context for Johnson's writing." The Observer
"Anyone wishing to enjoy a highly readable and informative book on Johnson should find a copy of Robert DeMaria's The Life of Samuel Johnson, A Critical Biography. Even the most ardent Johnsonian will learn something new, and it can be recommended to students without qualification... Most of the facts of Johnson's life are well known; DeMaria uses them to guide us on a journey through Johnson's intellectual landscape. Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association
In this major revision of The Life of Samuel Johnson, Robert DeMaria makes a compelling claim for the attention of a new generation of Johnson's readers and admirers.
About the Author
Robert DeMaria is Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English at Vassar College, where he teaches Old English and the History of English as well as Eighteenth-century British Literature. In 1986 he published Johnson's Dictionary and the Language of Learning His British Literature 1640-1789: An Anthology in the Blackwell Anthologies series is forthcoming.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations.
A Note on the Form of Citation.
2. Oxford and Birmingham.
5. Early Biographical Writings.
6. Miscellaneous Prose.
7. The Harleian Library.
8. Johnson's Dictionary. .
9. The Vanity of Human Wishes.
10. The Rambler.
12. The Adventurer.
13. The Literary Magazine.
14. The Idler.
17. Lectures on the English Law.
18. Late Political Writings.
19. A Jourey to the Western Islands of Scotland.
20. The Lives of the Poets.
21. Final Years.