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Sam Johnson – The “Robust Genius” of British Toryism

by Derek Turner (May 2011)


Doctor Johnson bestrides the eighteenth century – and English literature – like the Colossus of Rhodes. His Dictionary alone would have made him immortal, and when that is combined with the Rambler and Idler, his Rasselas, Lives of the Poets, his anno­tated Shakespeare and his conversa­tion, recorded so brilliantly by Boswell, you have one of the most considerable figures in English history. With his massive frame, his many eccentricities, his large firmly-planted boots, his magisterial air and his enormous appetite for life, he might epitomise England — dependable, practical, prejudiced against foreigners, commonsensical, sceptical yet also God-fearing, kindly, chivalrous and civilised.  more>>>