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

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Robert Burrowes


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Robert Burrowes : [Essay on Johnson's style]

'I shall now fulfil my promise of exhibiting specimens of various sorts of imitation of Johnson's style. In the "Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, 1787", there is an 'Essay on the Style of Dr. Samuel Johnson,' by the Reverend Robert Burrowes, whose respect for the great object of his criticism is thus evinced in the concluding paragraph:-- "I have singled him out from the whole body of English writers, because his universally-acknowledged beauties would be most apt to induce imitation; and I have treated rather on his faults than his perfections, because an essay might comprize all the observations I could make upon his faults, while volumes would not be sufficient for a treatise on his perfections". Mr. BURROWES has analysed the composition of Johnson, and pointed out its peculiarities with much acuteness; and I would recommend a careful perusal of his Essay to those, who being captivated by the union of perspicuity and splendour which the writings of Johnson contain, without having a sufficient portion of his vigour of mind, may be in danger of becoming bad copyists of his manner.'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: James Boswell      Print: Book


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