- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: October 2011
- Print publication year: 2011
- First published in: 1787
- Online ISBN: 9781139056434
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139056434
Dr Samuel Johnson (1709–84) is regarded as one of the outstanding figures of English literature, as a poet, essayist, moralist, critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. This collected edition of his works - commissioned by the publisher within hours of Johnson's death, such was his celebrity - was published in 1787 in eleven volumes, edited by his literary executor, the musicologist Sir John Hawkins. Volume 5 contains the first part of The Rambler, the periodical published by Johnson twice a week between 1750 and 1752. Modelled on Addison's Spectator, the essays address a wide range of social, religious, political and literary themes, and are not exclusively by Johnson himself: there are contributions by others, particularly women writers such as Hester Chapone and Elizabeth Carter. The Rambler adopted an 'elevated' style, and topics range from criticism of the emerging novel genre to discussions of humanitarian issues such as prostitution and capital punishment.