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Record 22467

Reading Experience:

'Two very valuable articles, I am sure, we have lost [when Johnson, dying, burnt many of his papers] , which were two quarto volumes, containing a full, fair, and most particular account of his own life, from his earliest recollection. I owned to him, that having accidentally seen them, I had read a great deal in them; and apologizing for the liberty I had taken, asked him if I could help it. He placidly answered, "Why, Sir, I do not think you could have helped it". I said that I had, for once in my life, felt half an inclination to commit theft. It had come into my mind to carry off those two volumes, and never see him more. Upon my inquiring how this would have affected him, "Sir, (said he,) I believe I should have gone mad".'
Century: 1700-1799
Date: Until: 13 Dec 1784
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: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: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Samuel Johnson
Title: [MS Autobiography]
Genre: Autobiog / Diary
Form of Text: Manuscript: quarto volumes
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: read in situ
read at Johnson's house


Source Information:

Record ID: 22467  
Source - Print  
  Author: James Boswell
  Editor: n/a
  Title: Life of Johnson
  Place of Publication: Oxford
  Date of Publication: 1980
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 1383-4
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson (Oxford, 1980), p. 1383-4,, accessed: 17 June 2024

Additional comments:

Original date of publication 1791



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