Catalogue


Interpretation of Samuel Johnson [electronic resource] /
edited by Jonathan Clark and Howard Erskine-Hill.
imprint
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
description
xiv, 230 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
9780230356009 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
isbn
9780230356009 (hardback)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8545735
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Jonathan Clark was educated at Cambridge, UK, where he took his PhD, and was a Fellow of Peterhouse. He was subsequently a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and Visiting Professor at the Committee on Social Thought of the University of Chicago. He currently holds the Hall Distinguished professorship of British History at the University of Kansas, and is writing a study of the political and social ideas of Thomas Paine. Howard Erskine-Hill studied English and Philosophy at Nottingham University, UK; he then taught at University College Swansea. In 1969 he became Lecturer in English at Cambridge, and retired as Professor of English. He holds a Cambridge higher doctorate, is a Fellow of the British Academy, and has recently completed a biography of Alexander Pope.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-02-01:
These two collections complete a trilogy initiated by Samuel Johnson in Historical Context, also ed. by Clark (British history, Univ. of Kansas) and Erksine-Hill (formerly, English, Cambridge Univ., UK). Together these volumes form part of a larger effort to resurrect Johnson as a Jacobite Tory. Too much ink has been spilled in this quixotic crusade, here reinvigorated by Clark and Erskine-Hill. A misleading blurb on the back of the present two volumes claims that this "major academic controversy has raged in recent years." It is hardly a "major controversy": serious Johnson scholars have long since dismissed the so-called controversy as a misguided and perhaps invidious adventure. How much longer will this worn carcass be flayed?Such misgivings aside, one must acknowledge that some papers in these volumes--especially The Interpretation of Samuel Johnson--merit serious attention, among them (in The Interpretation . . . ) O. M. Brack Jr.'s welcome exploration of the conflicted relationship between Johnson's rival biographers, James Boswell and Sir Johns Hawkins, and F. P. Lock's survey of the challenges, obstacles, and opportunities facing the potential biographer of Johnson. Despite caveats raised above, one must grant as laudable a larger theoretic premise observed in these studies--the effort to situate Johnson within a quotidian milieu. This concurs with the happy recent trend in Johnson studies to trace the mobile evolution of Johnson's thought and outlook over the span of his lifetime, rather than erecting a monolithic, fixed portrait. Such an approach honors the complexity of Johnson's mind and writings, thus helping to account for the various tensions, paradoxes, and contradictions--apparent or real--that emerge from any genuine critical encounter with him. Summing Up: Recommended. With reservations. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. A. W. Lee Arkansas Tech University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2013
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
A major academic controversy has raged in recent years over the analysis of the political and religious commitments of Samuel Johnson, the most commanding of the 'commanding heights' of 18th-century English letters. This book brings that debate to a decisive conclusion, retrieving the 'historic Johnson'.
Description for Bookstore
The culmination of the recent controversy over the interpretation of Samuel Johnson's politics and religion
Long Description
A major academic controversy has raged in recent years over the analysis of the political and religious commitments of Samuel Johnson, the most commanding of the 'commanding heights' of eighteenth-century English letters. This book, one of a trilogy from Palgrave, brings that debate to a decisive conclusion, retrieving the 'historic Johnson' as opposed to the 'usable Johnson' that had been devised in the early twentieth century. The trilogy makes untenable the old picture of a Johnson who was Olympian, detached from the conflicts of his age, a timeless moralist. It reinstates a man well-informed about and deeply committed to the conflicts of his era in Church and State, in theology and in political ideology. And instead of a timeless, unchanging Johnson, it offers a picture of a man whose views importantly developed over the course of his agonized lifetime.
Main Description
A major academic controversy has raged in recent years over the analysis of the political and religious commitments of Samuel Johnson, the most commanding of the 'commanding heights' of eighteenth-century English letters. This book, one of a trilogy from Palgrave, brings that debate to a decisive conclusion, retrieving the 'historic Johnson.'
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. viii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Prefacep. x
Notes on Contributorsp. xi
List of Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Planning a Life of Johnsonp. 11
Attack and Mask: James Boswell's Indebtedness to Sir John Hawkins' Life of Samuel Johnsonp. 43
Boswell and the Making of Johnsonp. 72
'The Casuistical Question': Oaths and Hypocrisy in the Writings of Johnson and Bolingbrokep. 84
Fire under the Ashes: Johnson's Lives of the Poets as Narratives of Historyp. 120
Johnson, Macpherson and the Memoirs of the Marshal Duke of Berwickp. 165
Conclusion: The Forgotten Room: Discovery and Denial in Recent Johnson Studiesp. 202
Indexp. 224
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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