The Life of Samuel Johnson: A Critical Biography

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Wiley, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 392 pages
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In this major revision of The Life of Samuel Johnson, Robert DeMaria makes a compelling claim for the attention of a new generation of Johnson's readers and admirers.
Even as a child Johnson relied on his extraordinary powers of mind to distinguish himself from his family and to propel him into broader intellectual and social milieux. His hero was Joseph Scaliger and he dreamt of becoming a Latin scholar-poet, a citizen like Scaliger of the European republic of letters. His efforts and talents were remarkable. But financial and personal circumstances prevented him achieving his early dreams. Robert DeMaria describes his subject in terms of Johnson's own personal and professional hopes for himself and gets closer to the historical man than any previous study of the complete life and works.

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About the author (1994)

Robert DeMaria is Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English at Vassar College, where he teaches Old English and the History of English as well as Eighteenth-century British Literature. In 1986 he published Johnson's Dictionary and the Language of Learning His British Literature 1640-1789: An Anthology in the Blackwell Anthologies series is forthcoming.

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