Some 300 years after his birth in 1709, Samuel Johnson is remembered for having had a very successful biographer and for being eminently quotable. He of course planned the biographical part by giving his young friend James Boswell access to so much of his life.
James Boswell is a hard act to follow. His Life of Johnson, written at close range after more hours in pubs and miles of travel with his eccentric subject than most could have withstood, is detailed, witty, literate and still engaging over two centuries later.
Support the Christian Century
The Century's work relies primarily on subscriptions and donations. Thank you for supporting nonprofit journalism.