The Age of Johnson:
A Scholarly Annual

Preface to Volume 10 (1999)

It is customary to mark tenth anniversaries (or anniversaries in multiples of ten) of periodicals with comments about how no one ever foresaw the present state of this journal at the start and other momentous platitudes. I shall spare the audience of The Age of Johnson such remarks. In our first ten volumes, this scholarly annual has progressed, certainly: Volume 1 contained only four book reviews, while recent volumes have printed as many as seventeen. Our habit has been to encourage long reviews of important learned work on Johnson, his contemporaries, and the milieu of the longer eighteenth century in England. In Volume 10, accordingly, at least two reviews are in fact review-essays, James Gray's analysis of Laurence Sterne's Sermons and Aaron Stavisky's study of Pat Rogers's Samuel Johnson Encyclopedia. A journal should be judged by the quality of its essays, but learned reviews are an important undertaking; even after a decade, the reviews and review-essays in AJ make good reading.

In these ten volumes, The Age of Johnson has published some five thousand pages of scholia on this period, most of it on Johnson and his extended circle. We have printed essays by major Johnsonian scholars of the generations of the mid and later twentieth century, including, in Volume 9, the last essay of the late Donald Greene. But we have also been the first port of entry into the learned world for dozens of young scholars, some of whom will doubtless become major eighteenth-century scholars of the first third of the twenty-first century. Again, in keeping with a tradition we established early in our existence, this volume includes a monograph-length publication, Jack Lynch's supplement to the Clifford-Greene-Vance bibliography of Johnsonian studies, covering the years 1986–97.

Volume 10 is also the last issue of AJ whose title page will mention me as sole editor. Beginning with Volume 11, my co-editor will be Jack Lynch of Rutgers University, Newark, who, after cheerfully sharing many of my editorial concerns and managing all of our computer services for the last five years, will now receive equal editorial credit.

The editor gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the Department of English and the School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania.

Paul J. Korshin

10 December 1998