Tracing Samuel Johnson's rocky climb from anonymity to fame, in the course of which he came to stand for both the greatness of English literature and the good sense of the common reader, Lipking shows how this life transformed the very nature of authorship.
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according audience authorship become beginning biography Boswell called Cambridge career character Chesterfield choice common considered critic death definition Dictionary dreams edition English essay expect fact feel fiction final genius give hand Hence hero hope human ideas imagination interest John Journey keep language later learning least less letter literary Lives London look meaning mind moral nature never offers once original Oxford patron perhaps person play poem poet poetic poetry political Pope praise Preface present principles Rambler readers reason respect Samuel Johnson Savage scholar seems sense Shakespeare sometimes sort standard story sure things thought tion true truth turn University Press Vanity verse virtue whole Wishes writer written wrote York young
Page 13 - I had exhausted all the art of pleasing which a retired and uncourtly scholar can possess. I had done all that I could, and no man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.
Page 13 - Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help ? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it; till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received,...