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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Dr Warburton


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Dr Warburton : [Letter to Thomas Birch]

'There is, in the B. Museum, a letter from Bishop Warburton to Dr Birch, on the subject of biography; which, though I am aware it may expose me to a charge of artfully raising the value of my own work, by contrasting it with that of which I have spoken, is so well conceived and expressed, that I cannot refrain from here inserting it: [the letter follows, including this passage] "Almost all the life-writers we have had before Toland and Desmaiseaux, are indeed strange inspid creatures; and yet I had rather read the worst of them, than be obliged to go through with this of Milton's, or the other's life of Boileau, where there is such a dull, heavy succession of long quotations of disinteresting passages, that it makes their method quite nauseous".'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: James Boswell      Manuscript: Letter


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