Contents Index

Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English critic, poet, and author of the first major English dictionary, as well as one of the enduring pieces of fiction of the century, the moral fable Rasselas, published the same year (1759) as Voltaire's Candide and often compared to it. He also wrote Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, to the Works of the English Poets, better known as The Lives of The Poets, a series of biographies of English poets including Dryden, Pope, Swift, and Gay. Johnson is best known through James Boswell's biography, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791), though another firsthand biographical account is to be found in the Anecdotes of his friend and confidante Hester Thrale Piozzi.