When, from time to time, he was asked, ‘Who do you think is the greatest Englishman?’ A. J. P. Taylor wrote, ‘I have never been at a loss for an answer. Samuel Johnson of course. Not Churchill, not Wellington or Nelson. Certainly not Darwin.’
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)was born in Lichfield. From 1737 he lived in London. He was a prolific journalist, writing for The Rambler (he was almost its sole contributor), The Adventurer, and The Idler. His great works include his Dictionary of the English Language and The Lives of the English Poets (reissued in Faber Finds in the George Birkbeck Hill 1905 edition. He was also the subject of the greatest biography in the English language, Boswell’s Life of Johnson.