The Age of Johnson:
A Scholarly Annual

Preface to Volume 9 (1998)

Volume 9 of The Age of Johnson is the first in our history to have a dedication, to the late Donald Greene, one of whose last publications appears in this issue. Don assisted enthusiastically in the planning that led, in the mid 1980s, to the inauguration of this scholarly annual in 1987, just as he was a constant presence throughout our history. He energetically contributed five major essays to our first nine volumes, more than any other scholar. The first of these essays, "The Logia of Samuel Johnson and the Quest for the Historical Johnson," which opened Volume 3 (1990), has already become a classic of recent Johnsonian scholarship, indeed, to such a degree that the current volume includes both a challenge to his interpretation by John J. Burke, Jr., and his own vigorous confutation. Don's other essays in the pages of this journal challenged existing positions, a lifelong scholarly occupation of his, as with his famous article on the possibility of masked entries in Johnson's diaries referring to masturbation (Volume 4), and also with his participation in the debate about the extent of Johnson's supposed Jacobitism (Volumes 7 and 8). When Don died at his desk, suddenly on the morning of 13 May 1997, he had just been reading an advance copy of The Age of Johnson, Volume 8; the month before, he had meticulously corrected the proofs of the essay that appears here as pages 47–80. The genesis of this essay was typical of him and, in the early proof stages of this essay, in January and February 1997, he enlisted my assistance in checking primary sources he could not find at his beloved Huntington Library. Don had the good fortune, like John Dryden, to remain in full command of his intellectual resources until his last moments, sharing his love of Johnson and eighteenth-century studies with all of us to the fullest. Volume 10 of The Age of Johnson will contain a full-length tribute and analysis of Don's contributions to our field.

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

24 June 1997