LIFE OF JAMES BOSWELL
For almost one hundred and fifty years after his death in 1795, James Boswell was considered to be a foolish failure, and his masterful biography, The Life of Samuel Johnson, was regarded as an accidental work of genius by a man who was primarily a drinker, gambler, and womanizer. When Boswell’s personal journals were discovered in the 1920s and 1930s, however, it became necessary to reassess him. With the publication of the journals, Boswell has emerged not only as a writer of the highest order but also as a man of geniality and high spirits who was unjustly mocked and chastened.In this moving biography, Peter Martin assesses Boswell’s literary achievements and uncovers the dynamic world in which he lived, from royal courts and drawing rooms to London’s unsavory underworld. He reveals a man plagued by hypochondria and melancholia, equally candid about his pursuit of pleasure and the guilt that often followed-a complex, infuriating, yet ultimately appealing character who produced much more than one superbly crafted work of literature.
Publisher: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Author: PETER MARTIN