James Boswell’s ‘Life of Johnson’: The First Modern Biography

Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson, Wikimedia Commons

In 1791, James Boswell wrote what has come to be known as “the first modern biography” on Dr. Samuel Johnson. This semester the Library’s exhibit explores the lives of both Boswell and Johnson. Visitors can view rare books from UMW Libraries’ Special Collections, including Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language (1755) and The Rambler (1791, as well as works by his contemporaries such as Oliver Goldsmith. Created in partnership with the Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series, the exhibit can be viewed online here.

Date: March 22-June 1, 2012
Time: Exhibit open during regular Simpson Library hours
Location: Simpson Library, 2nd floor


Read more:
Who Was Samuel Johnson? (PDF)
Who Was James Boswell? (PDF)

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