Free Shipping in Australia
Proud to be B-Corp

Samuel Johnson Peter Martin

Samuel Johnson By Peter Martin

Samuel Johnson by Peter Martin

Condition - Very Good
7 in stock


The first new biography for a generation of one of the great figures of English literature

Samuel Johnson Summary

Samuel Johnson: A Biography by Peter Martin

Poet, essayist, biographer, lexicographer, critic, conversationalist and wit, Dr Johnson is one of the great figures of English literature, perhaps the most quoted English writer after Shakespeare. Our view of Johnson has been overwhelmingly shaped by James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, published in 1791, the most famous biography in the English language. But invaluable as Boswell is as a source, he should not be the last word. This new biography illuminates the Johnson that Boswell never knew: the awkward youth, the unsuccessful schoolmaster, the eccentric marriage, his early years in London in the 1740s scratching a living, the epic struggle to produce the Dictionary. Very much the outsider, rather than the supremely confident dispenser of robust common sense. Using material unknown to previous biographers, Peter Martin describes the psychological knife-edge on which Johnson felt he lived, caused by his severe melancholia and his physical diseases. He explores Johnson's role in the publishing and printing world of the time and he reveals how important women were to Johnson throughout his life. The Samuel Johnson that emerges from this enthralling biography is still the foremost figure of his age but a more rebellious, unpredictable and sympathetic figure than the one that Boswell so memorably portrayed.

Samuel Johnson Reviews

well-researched, fully annotated and judiciously expressed...Peter Martin's volume is a worthy addition to everyone's shelf of Johnsoniana THE LITERARY REVIEW Martin tells the familiar story extremely well. It would be nice if his Samuel Johnson won the 2009 Samuel Johnson. I think it has a chance. OBSERVER a solidly constructed literary biography that makes judicious use of sources sidelined by Boswell, as well as later academic findings. GUARDIAN a readable introduction to the great man's life. He was a great critic, a great wit, a great writer; above all, as this book reminds us, he was a great Englishman. DAILY TELEGRAPH Thorough, sympathetic, and balanced...the great flawed jewel here is really the way with wit, immense intellectual charisma, and pure courage. INTELLIGENT LIFE It makes an absorbing study of great flaws in a great human being. As always with Johnson - how you wish you could have known him! DAILY MAIL Peter Martin has written a very smart and well-researched book. SPECTATOR This is the most accessible and entertaining of all the Johnson biographies that I have read since John Wain's 1975 Samuel Johnson: A Biography. Martin is a skillful writer and a practiced biographer. Martin's prose style - lucid, lovely and fluid - combines with the book's shapely narrative structure to package Johnson in a way that is engaging, informative, and entertaining. -- Anthony W.Lee ECCB

About Peter Martin

Peter Martin was born in Argentina of English parents and educated there and in America. He has taught English literature in both England and America and written extensively on 18th-century British and American literature and culture. He divides his time between southern Spain and West Sussex.

Additional information

Samuel Johnson: A Biography by Peter Martin
Used - Very Good
Orion Publishing Co
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - Samuel Johnson