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Samuel Johnson

Hugh Kingsmill
Date Published
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Samuel Johnson was first published in 1934. It is being reissued to mark the 300th anniversary of Johnson’s birth and the sixtieth anniversary of Hugh Kingsmill’s death.

In the words of Richard Ingrams, ‘Samuel Johnson was the only biography of Kingsmill’s written in a spirit of sympathy with his subject and it is for that reason the most successful of his books and must rank as one of the best short biographies of Johnson. Kingsmill had much in common with Johnson. He expressed himself best in company with others and found writing an arduous task; the circumstances of his life were unfortunate and he had the same habit as Johnson of almost courting discomfort.’

Also being reissued at the same time is Hugh Kingsmill’s anthology Johnson without Boswell.


Hugh Kingsmill (1889-1949) was a novelist, a biographer of note and a talker of outstanding verve and brilliance. In his introduction to The Best of Hugh Kingsmill, Michael Holroyd wrote, ‘Behind the big names of twentieth-century literature there stands a shadow cabinet of writers waiting to take over once the Wind of Change has blown. My own vote goes to…

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