Show Summary Details

p. 393. Warts and Alllocked

  • Hermione Lee

Abstract

‘Warts of All’ looks at the most famous biography in the English language, Boswell's Life of Johnson. Why did the life of such an eccentric, opinionated, neurotic 18th-century lexicographer, biographer, and journalist become the subject of the most famous biography? And why should such a disorganised, lengthy narrative become the model for biography? The ingredients to that success and lasting influence are examined in the context of the massive expansion of print and reading in Britain during the 18th-century. The complex portrait of the personality of Johnson was to have a profound influence on biographical writing.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.