Volume 8 of The Age of Johnson continues the debate on Samuel Johnson's ties to Jacobitism, which are substantial or insubstantial, depending on one's view. The disputants who introduced this topic in Volume 7, J. C. D. Clark and Howard Erskine-Hill, write again, this time in response to the essays by Donald Greene and Thomas Curley and to Howard Weinbrot's lengthy review of Professor Clark's book on Johnson's politics, all of which I published in Volume 7. Professors Greene, Curley, and Weinbrot then respond to Professors Clark and Erskine-Hill. Further essays in this volume by Michael Caldwell and Lawerence Lipking pursue the subjects of Johnson's political thought and his relationship to Jacobitism. This volume continues with our practice of publishing original documents from eighteenth-century archives, in this case with William McCarthy's history of Anna Letitia and Rochemont Barbauld's famous Palgrave School. Volume 8 contains one further response, James Basker's essay on the myth of Johnson's misogyny, which is a comment on a book review in The Age of Johnson, Volume 6 (1994). We also include several essays and reviews which the length of the debate on Jacobitism in Volume 7 forced me to postpone, a circumstance which I note with much regret.
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