Johnson came to London in 1737
hoping to finish and produce his verse tragedy, Irene (pronounced
The text of Irene appears reliably in two volumes:
Poems, ed. E. L. McAdam, Jr., with George Milne, vol. VI
of the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson (New Haven:
Yale Univ. Press, 1964), and The Poems of Samuel Johnson,
ed. D. Nichol Smith and E. L. McAdam, Jr., 2nd ed. (1974). The
former prints the manuscript variants as footnotes on each page;
the latter tucks the entire draft away in an appendix.
Not much. DeMaria's recent biography has some good material,
and there are scattered chapters here and there, but not much
- D. Nichol Smith, Samuel Johnson's "Irene" (Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1929).
- Bertrand H. Bronson, "Johnson's Irene," in Johnson
Agonistes and Other Essays (Berkeley: Univ. of California
Press, 1965), pp. 100-55.
This is part of a Guide to Samuel
Johnson by Jack Lynch. Comments are welcome.