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Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson (September 18, 1709 – December 13, 1784) was an essayist, poet, biographer, lexicographer and a critic of English literature. He was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire and spent many of his early years in the surrounding community. On coming of age he attended Pembroke College, Oxford for a year before being forced to leave because he could not afford to support himself there. Lacking a degree, he struggled to find employment in the field of education, and eventually traveled to London, where he began his career as a writer. While in London he wrote essays for The Gentleman's Magazine and completed his A Dictionary of the English Language.

After publication of his Dictionary, Johnson enjoyed years of popularity and success. He continued to write for various London periodicals and started producing an edition of William Shakespeare's plays. During this time, he met James Boswell. With Boswell, he traveled to Scotland and wrote A Journey to the Western Island of Scotland. Towards the end of his life, he produced his Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets series. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Although Johnson is well known for A Dictionary of the English Language and Lives of Poets, he is best known from James Boswell's biography, the Life of Johnson.

The above information was taken from the Samuel Johnson article on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, based on the GNU Free Documentation License.


Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum

Samuel Johnson page of links

Life of Johnson on Project Gutenberg


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