Reading Experience Database
1450-1945

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Record 21502

Reading Experience:

Evidence:
'Johnson was in high spirits this evening at the club, and talked with great animation and success. He attacked Swift, as he used to do upon all occasions. "The 'Tale of a Tub' is so much superiour to his other writings that one can hardly believe he was the authour of it. There is in it such a vigour of mind, such a swarm of thoughts, so much of nature, and art, and life." I wondered to hear him say of "Gulliver's Travels", "When once you have thought of big men and little men, it is very easy to do all the rest." I endeavoured to make a stand for Swift, and tried to rouse those who were much more able to defend him; but in vain. Johnson at last, of his own accord, allowed very great merit to the inventory of articles found in the pocket of [italics] The Man Mountain [end italics], particularly the description of his watch, which, it was conjectured, was his God, as he consulted it upon all occasions. He observed, that "Swift put his name to but two things (after he had a name to put), 'The Plan of the Improvement of the English Language,' and the last 'Drapier's Letter'."'
Century: 1700-1799
Date: Until: 24 Mar 1775
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London
   
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: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
n/a
Additional comments: n/a

 

Text Being Read:

Author: Jonathan Swift
Title: Gulliver's Travels
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown

 

Source Information:

Record ID: 21502  
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: 595
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson (Oxford, 1980), p. 595, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/reading/recorddetails2.php?id=21502, accessed: 01 July 2022

Additional comments:

Originally published 1791

 

 

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