A Guide to Samuel Johnson

By Jack Lynch

A number of requests for information on Johnson — they come my way because of my Johnson page on the Web, my dissertation largely on Johnson, and a number of books on the subject — have convinced me to put together a few paragraphs to introduce novices to Johnson.

This is nothing like a comprehensive guide to the literature, although I do discuss some real bibliographies. I cover a few works of scholarship, and those not necessarily my favorites — they're the ones that I think are most important for a beginner to know, the most often quoted, though not always the most thought-provoking. And this guide is unabashedly opinionated, though I hope my preferences aren't often perversely far from the mainstream. Still, it might be useful for people who've received no more formal introduction to Johnson studies.

I don't pretend for a minute that this guide is anywhere near complete or comprehensive — it was prepared off the top of my head. I don't know whether my omissions of important material are more grievous than the outright errors that are doubtless in here somewhere. But it might be useful to someone just getting started, and, since it's free, it would be a bargain at twice the price. I welcome comments and corrections; my address appears below.

  1. Who Is this Johnson Guy?
  2. Editions
  3. Anthologies & Selections
  4. Biographies
  5. Bibliographies
  6. Introductions
  7. Scholarship (general works of criticism)
  8. Works:

Comments are welcome.