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									Siekmeier                  Samuel Johnson biography info


Background
1. Johnson was sickly as a child, afflicted with smallpox and scrofula, resulting
in blindness in one eye and deafness in one ear.
2. Johnson’s father worked as a bookseller.
3. Johnson had a reputation for laziness or indolence.
4. As a teacher, Johnson tutored David Garrick, who became a famous
Shakespearean actor.
5. Johnson’s wife’s nick name was Tetty, and she was twenty years his senior.
6. Johnson is the single most-quoted prose writer in the English language.
7. Johnson is usually remembered not as a writer but as a talker, as a
personality….
8. The primary financial boon in Johnson’s life was when, in 1762, he was
granted a lifetime pension from King George III.

Some of Johnson’s famous friends included:
Edward Gibbon, historian
Joshua Reynolds, painter
Charles Burney, musicologist
Oliver Goldsmith, writer
Samuel Richardson, novelist
Henry and Hester Thrale, brewery family

Johnson’s writing: date/work/type
a. 1738             London                     poem
b. 1749             Irene                      tragic play
c. 1750-52          The Rambler                periodical essays
d. 1755             Dictionary                 lexicography
e. 1759             Rasselas                   fiction
f. 1765             Shakespeare’s works        editing
g. 1781             Lives of the Poets         biography


About his biographer:
“We perhaps have available more firsthand written information on Boswell
than any other person, living or dead” (text, 582).




9/13/2012

								
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