Major British Authors:
Johnson and Boswell

English 479:02, Autumn 2005

Jack Lynch

Course Description

Go directly to:

SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember


Office: (973) 353-5279 x 516; 516 Hill Hall.

Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 10:30-11:30, and by appointment (appointments are best).

Home: (609) 882-4642 (before 10:00 p.m.!).

E-mail: jlynch @ andromeda.rutgers.edu (the best way to reach me).

Listserv: johnson-boswell @ andromeda.rutgers.edu (for the whole class).


Course Requirements


Schedule of Class Meetings

Wed., 7 Sept.
No Class: I'll be at a conference in Germany.
Mon., 12 Sept.
Introduction (class business, &c.).

Johnson

Wed., 14 Sept.
Johnson, Annals and diaries (pp. 771-80), Rambler 60 (pp. 204-7); Boswell, The Life of Johnson, pp. 19-97.

Boswell

Mon., 19 Sept.
Boswell, London Journal, pp. 39-140.
Wed., 21 Sept.
Boswell, London Journal, pp. 140-235, and Life, pp. 271-94; Frances Burney, selection from the diaries (photocopy).

City

Mon., 26 Sept.
Johnson, London (pp. 2-8); Boswell, Life, pp. 295-337

Crime

Wed., 28 Sept.
Johnson, The Life of Savage (pp. 128-64); Boswell, Life, pp. 827-35.
Mon., 3 Oct.
Johnson, Rambler 114 (pp. 211-15), Idler 22 (the renumbered no. 22, pp. 285-87), selections from the Vinerian lectures (pp. 570-79); Boswell, Life, pp. 1207-17.

Politics

Wed., 5 Oct.
Johnson, Idlers 10 and 81 (pp. 279-82, 296-98), Debates in the Senate of Lilliput (pp. 103-12); Boswell, Life, pp. 615-16, 764-69.
Mon., 10 Oct.
Johnson, "Observations on the Present State of Affairs" (pp. 501-8), The Patriot (pp. 580-87); Boswell, Life, pp. 876-86.

Travel

Wed., 12 Oct.
Johnson, preface to Lobo (pp. 41-43), review of Hanway (pp. 509-17).
Mon., 17 Oct.
Johnson, selections from A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (pp. 593-641).

Women

Wed., 19 Oct.
Johnson, Ramblers 18, 39, 113, 167, 170, 171, 191 (pp. 179-83, 197-200, 207-11, 241-46, 249-52, 253-57), Idlers 5 and 100 (pp. 277-79, 302-4); Boswell, Life, pp. 327, 719-20, 944-45.
Mon., 24 Oct.
Johnson, letters to Hester Thrale (pp. 790-92); Boswell, Life, pp. 347-50, 1190-95, 1326-33.

Sex

Wed., 26 Oct.
Boswell, London Journal, pp. 235-333. First Paper Due.

Language

Mon., 31 Oct.
Johnson, Rambler 168 (pp. 246-49); Boswell, Life, pp. 131-216.
Wed., 2 Nov.
Johnson, selections from the Dictionary (pp. 307-34), "Gnothi Seauton (Know Thyself)" (pp. 26-30).

Writing

Mon., 7 Nov.
Johnson, Ramblers 121 and 156 (pp. 215-18, 235-38), Idlers 60 and 61 (pp. 290-96), "Of the Duty of a Journalist" (pp. 544-46). Exercise Due: Look up ten resonant words from Johnson's or Boswell's writings in Johnson's Dictionary and report, in two or three pages, on what you find.

Poetry

Wed., 9 Nov.
Johnson, "Drury-Lane Prologue" (pp. 10-12), Ramblers 4, 36, 37 (pp. 175-79, 190-97), selections from Shakespeare (pp. 419-66).
Mon., 14 Nov.
Johnson, selections from Lives of the Poets: Cowley (pp. 677-97), Milton (pp. 698-716), Dryden (pp. 717-24), Pope (pp. 725-52), and Gray (pp. 765-69).

Madness

Wed., 16 Nov.
Boswell, Life, pp. 47-52, 280-81, 316, 690, 790-92, 856-57, 1225-26.

Death

Mon., 21 Nov.
Johnson, "Epitaph on Claudy Phillips" (p. 9), "On the Death of Robert Levet" (pp. 35-36); Boswell, Life, pp. 415-28, 827-34.
Wed., 23 Nov.
No Class: Thanksgiving Break.
Mon., 28 Nov.
Johnson, Rambler 32 (pp. 186-89), "Essay on Epitaphs" (pp. 96-102); Boswell, Life, pp. 1356-1402.

God

Wed., 30 Nov.
Johnson, Sermon 5 (pp. 467-75); Boswell, Life, pp. 1288-1301.

Happiness

Mon., 5 Dec.
Johnson, review of Soame Jenyns (pp. 522-43), Idler 22 (original no. 22, pp. 282-84).
Wed., 7 Dec.
Johnson, The Vanity of Human Wishes (pp. 12-21).
Mon., 12 Dec.
Johnson, Rasselas (pp. 335-418). Final Paper Due.