No of pages: 448
Other Editions: Paperback
From prize-winning biographer David Nokes, an original, deeply perceptive and often moving portrait of Samuel Johnson, one of the best-loved figures in English literature.
Born weak and half-blind, shambolic and poverty-stricken, Samuel Johnson came to be the most admired and most quoted man in the eighteenth century. He became the first media celebrity: author of the Dictionary , a friend to the king, companion of Reynolds, Goldsmith and Garrick.
In this hugely engaging biography, David Nokes looks beyond Johnson’s remarkable public persona and beyond the Johnson that Boswell to some extent created. He looks at Johnson’s early life: his shame at having to leave Oxford for lack of funds; his disastrous marriage to Tetty Porter, whom he married for money but felt guilty about for the rest of his life. He looks at his family, who haunted his dreams for years; and at his difficult, intimate relationship with Mrs Thrale. He shows a man who gave a quarter of the government pension he received to the poor, filled his home with the blind and destitute, and bequeathed his wealth to Frank Barber, an emancipated black slave from Jamaica.
Against the vibrant backdrop of eighteenth-century London, Samuel Johnson draws an illuminating portrait of Johnson, his life and world.
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