A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and the Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

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Penguin Books Limited, 1984 - Literary Collections - 429 pages
22 Reviews
"I mentioned our design to Voltaire," wrote Boswell. "He looked at me as if I had talked of going to the North Pole ?"

As it turned out, Johnson enjoyed their Scottish journey (although the land was not quite so wild and barbaric as perhaps he had hoped), and Boswell delighted in it. The year was 1773, they were sixty-three and thirty-two years old, and had been friends for ten years.

Their journals, published together here, perfectly complement each other. Johnson's majestic prose and hawk eye for curious detail take in everything from the stone arrowheads found in the Hebrides, to the 'medicinal' waters of Loch Ness and 'the mischiefs of emigration'. Meanwhile, it is very lucky that as Johnson was observing Scotland, Boswell was observing Johnson. His record is perceptive, highly entertaining and full of sardonic wit; for him, as for us, it is an appetizer for The Life of Johnson.

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Review: A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

User Review  - MacK - Goodreads

Having just completed my own trip to Scotland (including Islay) I was eager to read a historical account from 240 years prior. My audiobook interwove Johnson and Boswell's accounts with fine ... Read full review

Review: A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

User Review  - Rachel - Goodreads

Interesting, as a picture of a vanished way of life, but not really gripping. Johnson and Boswell were disappointed that the highland had changed since the glory days of the Jacobite rebellion, but of ... Read full review

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About the author (1984)

Samuel Johnson was born in 1709 and died in 1784--a long life, though one marred by depression and fear of death. Samuel Johnson's literary reputation rests on such a varied output that he defies easy description: poet, critic, lexicographer, travel writer, essayist, editor, and, with his good friend and fellow traveller James Boswell, a biographer. l

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