Reading Experience Database
1450-1945

Basic Search

Advanced Search

Record 21541

Reading Experience:

Evidence:
'Mr. Scott of Amwell's "Elegies" were lying in the room. Dr. Johnson observed "They are very well; but such as twenty people might write." Upon this I took occasion to controvert Horace's maxim, " [italics] mediocribus esse poetis Non Di, non homines non concessere columnae:" [end italics] For here, (I observed,) was a very middle rate poet, who pleased many readers, and therefore poetry of a middle sort was entitled to some esteem; nor could I see why poetry should not, like every thing else, have different gradations of excellence, and consequently of value. Johnson repeated the common remark, that "as there is no necessity for our having poetry at all, it being merely a luxury, an instrument of pleasure, it can have no value, unless when exquisite in its kind".'
Century: 1700-1799
Date: Until: 10 Apr 1775
Country: England
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: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
n/a
Additional comments: n/a

 

Text Being Read:

Author: John Scott
Title: [Elegies]
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown

 

Source Information:

Record ID: 21541  
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: 618
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson (Oxford, 1980), p. 618, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/reading/recorddetails2.php?id=21541, accessed: 05 February 2023

Additional comments:

Originally published 1791.

 

 

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