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A Brief Biography of the Famous Author Samuel JohnsonBY: Nancy Wilson | Category: Writing | Submitted: 2011-06-04 18:32:19
Samuel Johnson, referred to as Dr. Johnson, was born on September 18, 1709 in Lichfield, Staffordshire, Great Britain. He was a author and made timeless contributions to the English Literature in various form of it like poem, lexicography, editing, biography, literary critics, moral, and essay. He was a devoted Anglican and a dedicated Tory which is a conservative and traditional political philosophy. He has been depicted arguably as the most notable man of letters in the English history. According to the biography, Life of Samuel Johnson, written on him by James Boswell, in the whole of literature he is also the theme of the most famous single work of biographical art.
Johnson's parents were Michael Johnson, who was a book seller and Sarah Ford. His health was very poor at the time of birth and he did not cry even. But later his health improved. His mother started teaching him at the age of three and later attended Lichfield Grammar School, where he excelled in Latin. He showed signs of tics which continued for his lifetime and posthumously he was diagnosed of Tourette syndrome. Johnson attended Pembroke College, Oxford for about a year but lack of funds forced him to leave the college. He started working as a teacher and moved to London. There he wrote assorted pieces for The Gentleman's Magazine. Some of his early works are the biography The Life of Richard Savage, the play Irene, and the poems London and The Vanity of Human Wishes.
In 1755, Johnson published a dictionary titled Johnson's Dictionary after nine years of work on it. It had a sweeping effect on Modern English and was described as one of the greatest achievements of erudition. This brought Johnson success and popularity. Oxford English Dictionary was completed only after 150 years of publication of Johnson's Dictionary, until then Johnson's was seen as the finest British dictionary. His also wrote essays, a prominent annotated edition of William Shakespeare's plays, and the extensively read story Rasselas. James Boswell became his friend in 1763 and both travelled to Scotland. He described about these travels in his travelogue A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. In the later years of his life, he produced the substantial and significant Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets which was a collection of biographies and evaluations of seventeenth and eighteenth century poets.
After long period of recurring illnesses he died on the evening of December 13, 1784. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. After his death, people began to recognize him for his lasting effect on literary criticism, even as the only great critic of English literature.
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