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Johnson's Lives of the Poets   By: (1709-1784)

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In "Johnson's Lives of the Poets", Samuel Johnson provides a comprehensive and insightful look into the lives and works of various poets. His writing style is engaging and informative, making it an enjoyable read for those interested in literature and poetry.

Johnson's analysis of each poet is thorough and well-researched, providing readers with a deeper understanding of the influences and motivations behind their works. His critiques are honest and thought-provoking, offering a balanced perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of each poet.

Overall, "Johnson's Lives of the Poets" is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of poetry and the lives of some of the most influential poets in English literature. Johnson's meticulous research and engaging writing style make this book a valuable resource for scholars and poetry enthusiasts alike.

First Page:


By Samuel Johnson


Introduction by Henry Morley. Joseph Addison. Richard Savage. Jonathan Swift.


Johnson's "Lives of the Poets" were written to serve as Introductions to a trade edition of the works of poets whom the booksellers selected for republication. Sometimes, therefore, they dealt briefly with men in whom the public at large has long ceased to be interested. Richard Savage would be of this number if Johnson's account of his life had not secured for him lasting remembrance. Johnson's Life of Savage in this volume has not less interest than the Lives of Addison and Swift, between which it is set, although Savage himself has no right at all to be remembered in such company. Johnson published this piece of biography when his age was thirty five; his other lives of poets appeared when that age was about doubled. He was very poor when the Life of Savage was written for Cave. Soon after its publication, we are told, Mr. Harte dined with Cave, and incidentally praised it. Meeting him again soon afterwards Cave said to Mr. Harte, "You made a man very happy t'other day." "How could that be?" asked Harte. "Nobody was there but ourselves." Cave answered by reminding him that a plate of victuals was sent behind a screen, which was to Johnson, dressed so shabbily that he did not choose to appear... Continue reading book >>

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