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The Life of Samuel Johnson: A Critical Biography

ISBN: 978-1-55786-664-6
392 pages
January 1995, Wiley-Blackwell
The Life of Samuel Johnson: A Critical Biography (1557866643) cover image


In this major revision of The Life of Samuel Johnson, Robert DeMaria makes a compelling claim for the attention of a new generation of Johnson's readers and admirers.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations.

A Note on the Form of Citation.


1. Lichfield.

2. Oxford and Birmingham.

3. Irene.

4. London.

5. Early Biographical Writings.

6. Miscellaneous Prose.

7. The Harleian Library.

8. Johnson's Dictionary. .

9. The Vanity of Human Wishes.

10. The Rambler.

11. Sermons.

12. The Adventurer.

13. The Literary Magazine.

14. The Idler.

15. Rasselas.

16. Shakespeare.

17. Lectures on the English Law.

18. Late Political Writings.

19. A Jourey to the Western Islands of Scotland.

20. The Lives of the Poets.

21. Final Years.




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Author Information

Robert DeMaria is Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English at Vassar College, where he teaches Old English and the History of English as well as Eighteenth-century British Literature. In 1986 he published Johnson's Dictionary and the Language of Learning His British Literature 1640-1789: An Anthology in the Blackwell Anthologies series is forthcoming.
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The Wiley Advantage

* An important revisionary account of Samuel Johnson.
* Integrates the most recent scholarship.
* Provides a closer examination of Johnson than any previous study.
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"DeMaria's excellent revision of Johnson the scholar..." TES

"DeMaria is himself a fine commentator, and some of his paraphrases outshine the originals..." Bostonia

"DeMaria's scrupulous patient exploration of the career in all its aspects is - right down to his book's informative and skillful Notes and Index - a heroic undertaking. He has carried it out beautifully." Professor William H. Pritchard, Amherst

"DeMaria's penetrating biography..." Gwin J. Kolb

"Balanced, incisive, and wide-ranging..." Bruce Redford

"Robert DeMaria has written a learned and at times provocative work which undoubtedly adds to our understanding of the great man." The Times

"Robert DeMaria has very nearly done it ... a thoroughly serious, even solemn Johnson." Keith Walker, TLS

"This is a fine and original critical account." Literary Review

"A pleasantly written, useful introduction to Johnson's writing." Library Journal

"A very readable account." Times Educational Supplement

"Johnson observed that people require reminding more often than instructing. Demaria's study provides both." Magill's Literary Annual 1994

"Demaria's biography is a balanced book, and - as one might expect - a learned one." Studies in English Literature 1500-1900

"An erudite, fact-packed work that delves into the social context for Johnson's writing." The Observer

"Anyone wishing to enjoy a highly readable and informative book on Johnson should find a copy of Robert DeMaria's The Life of Samuel Johnson, A Critical Biography. Even the most ardent Johnsonian will learn something new, and it can be recommended to students without qualification... Most of the facts of Johnson's life are well known; DeMaria uses them to guide us on a journey through Johnson's intellectual landscape. Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association

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