SAMUEL JOHNSON

By: Wain, John

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Quarter bound in publisher's black cloth over black boards, gilt and reverse gilt lettering and decoration on spine. Mr. Wain describes Johnson's early life in Lichfield, with its promise of themes that remained constant in his biography - the stupendous intellectual energy; the awkward and problematic evidence of a deeply passionate nature; the struggle with poverty; the familiarity with defeated, thwarted careers. The narrative then shifts to London, where Johnson emerged into English literary life from the milieu of journalism and bustling coffeehouses. The central parts of the book concern themselves with the Herculean efforts that went into the preparation of the Dictionary and into the mature works of Johnson's late middle age. These were also years of great personal conflict and joy for Johnson, and Wain throws a great deal of light on the varied, textured strands of Johnson's increasingly celebrated existence in London. "He became very famous in middle and later life, " Mr. Wain writes, "but mixed with people who were desperate human wrecks, some of whom were close friends; to the end of his life he filled his house with people who were not successes in the eyes of the world. Yet at the same time he conversed on equal and better than equal terms with the most important and brilliant people in that brilliant age. Johnson's involvement with people is a wonderful story. " Toward the end of his life, Dr. Johnson suffered from debilitating and terrifying diseases of the body, and, it is clear, torments of the soul. Wain discusses these tragic passages in Johnson's life, and the people who helped but who ultimately of course could not fully assuage him, and he analyzes as well the written work of Johnson's last period. John Wain was born in Samuel Johnson's part of England, "The Potteries. " He went to Oxford and published his first novel in 1953. He became a fellow Brasenose College, and in 1973 was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford. He is the author of Hurry on Down, Living in the Present, The Contenders, A Travelling Woman, Nuncle and Other Stories, The Young Visitors, Strike the Father Dead, The Smaller Sky, A Winter in the Hills, The Life Guard, several collections of poetry, criticism and short stories and an autobiography, Sprightly Running. . This is a fresh, unopened copy in virtually perfect condition. The dust jacket is slightly chipped. FINE/NEAR FINE.. Book Club Edition. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. 388 pp

Title: SAMUEL JOHNSON

Author Name: Wain, John

Categories: Biography & Memoir, Novels, Poetry & Literature, History, Biography,

Edition: Book Club Edition. 1

Publisher: NY, The Viking Press: 1974

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Fine in Near Fine dust jacket

Seller ID: 3005

Keywords: Biography; History Literature; English Literature