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Record 22417

Reading Experience:

'These Voyages, (pointing to the three large volumes of "Voyages to the South Sea", which were just come out) who will read them through? A man had better work his way before the mast, than read them through; they will be eaten by rats and mice, before they are read through. There can be little entertainment in such books; one set of Savages is like another." BOSWELL. "I do not think the people of Otaheite can be reckoned Savages". JOHNSON. "Don't cant in defence of Savages". BOSWELL. "They have the art of navigation". JOHNSON. "A dog or a cat can swim". BOSWELL. "They carve very ingeniously". JOHNSON. "A cat can scratch, and a child with a nail can scratch".'
Century: 1700-1799
Date: Until: 15 Jun 1784
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:James Boswell
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 29 Oct 1740
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: writer and lawyer
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: Scotland
Country of experience: n/a
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Title: [books of Voyages to the South Seas]
Genre: Geography / Travel
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 22417  
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: 1304
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson (Oxford, 1980), p. 1304,, accessed: 06 June 2023

Additional comments:

Original date of publication 1791. Both men's words imply they had read some of the celebrated books of South Sea travels.



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