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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
September 2022
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Book description

Students, scholars, and general readers alike will find the New Cambridge Companion to Samuel Johnson deeply informed and appealingly written. Each newly commissioned chapter explores aspects of Johnson's writing and thought, including his ethical grasp of life, his views of language, the roots of his ideas in Renaissance humanism, and his skeptical-humane style. Among the themes engaged are history, disability, gender, politics, race, slavery, Johnson's representation in art, and the significance of the Yale Edition. Works discussed include Johnson's poetry and fiction, his moral essays and political tracts, his Shakespeare edition and Dictionary, and his critical, biographical, and travel writing. A narrated Further Reading provides an informative guide to the study of Johnson, and a substantial Introduction highlights how his literary practice, philosophical values, and life experience provide a challenge to readers new and established. Through fresh, integrated insights, this authoritative guide reveals the surprising contemporaneity of Johnson's thought.


'This book functions not as a replacement of but as a companion to the 1997 publication. It is an excellent way to introduce newcomers to Johnsonian scholarship, and a useful way for old hands to catch up on current conversations. The contributions are all well focused and clearly written, making the collection accessible to undergraduates as well as professionals. … Highly recommended.'

J. T. Lynch Source: Choice

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