Reading Experience Database
1450-1945

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Record 21764

Reading Experience:

Evidence:
'Sir John Pringle had expressed a wish that I would ask Dr. Johnson's opinion what were the best English sermons for style. I took an opportunity to-day of mentioning several to him. "Atterbury?" Johnson. "Yes, Sir, one of the best". Boswell. "Tillotson?". Johnson. "Why, not now. I should not advise a preacher at this day to imitate Tillotson's style: though I don't know; I should be cautious of objecting to what has been applauded by so many suffrages. — South is one of the best, if you except his peculiarities, and his violence, and sometimes coarseness of language. — Seed has a very fine style; but he is not very theological. — Jortin's sermons are very elegant. — Sherlock's style too is very elegant, though he has not made it his principal study. — And you may add Smallridge. All the latter preachers have a good style. Indeed, nobody now talks much of style: everybody composes pretty well. There are no such inharmonious periods as there were a hundred years ago. I should recommend Dr. Clarke's sermons, were he orthodox. However, it is very well known where he is not orthodox, which was upon the doctrine of the Trinity, as to which he is a condemned heretic: so one is aware of it." Boswell. "I like Ogden's "Sermons on Prayer" very much, both for neatness of style and subtilty of reasoning. "Johnson. "I should like to read all that Ogden has written." Boswell. "What I wish to know is, what sermons afford the best specimen of English pulpit eloquence." Johnson. "We have no sermons addressed to the passions, that are good for anything; if you mean that kind of eloquence".'
Century: 1700-1799
Date: Until: 7 Apr 1778
Country: n/a
Time: n/a
Place: n/a
   
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Samuel Johnson
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 18 Sep 1709
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: writer
Religion: Anglican
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: n/a
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
n/a
Additional comments: n/a

 

Text Being Read:

Author: Robert South
Title: [Sermons]
Genre: Sermon
Form of Text: Print: Unknown
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown

 

Source Information:

Record ID: 21764  
Source - Print  
  Author: James Boswell
  Editor: R.W. Chapman
  Title: Life of Johnson
  Place of Publication: Oxford
  Date of Publication: 1980
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 913
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson (Oxford, 1980), p. 913, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/reading/recorddetails2.php?id=21764, accessed: 24 May 2019

Additional comments:

originally published 1791

 

 

Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)