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The Correspondence and Other Papers of James Boswell Relating to the Making of the Life of Johnson

Correspondence, Volume 2

James Boswell
Edited by Marshall Waingrow

Edition: 2


This edition, expanded to include the text of letters unavailable at the time of the volume's first publication in 1969, records James Boswell's quest over a period of more than twenty years to amplify his knowledge of his major biographical subject, Samuel Johnson, through a detailed correspondence with a wide network of friends, informants, and other authorities. The volume, with revised and updated annotation, shows not just Boswell's struggles through his personal distresses to gather material for his Life of Johnson, but notes many of his revisions of his sources, changes made in manuscript and proof, and revisions of the first and second editions. It presents letters that illuminate the contemporary reception of his powerfully innovative, controversial, and influential biography (which appeared first in 1791), taking the story as far as exchanges in 1808 between Boswell's friend and editor, Edmond Malone, and his son, James Boswell the younger, about corrections for the sixth edition of 1811. Throughout, the annotation brings to life an extensive range of eighteenth-century figures, issues and topics.

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About the Author

The late Marshall Waingrow was Professor of English Emeritus at the Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California.


One of the new editions from Edinburgh University Press of the Yale publications, in this case 'corrected and enlarged' of the papers of James Boswell. The 12 volumes of Journals and eight of letters are a great enlargement of our literature The present volume is one of the research editions and is therefore fully equipped with excellent notes. It should not be missed by anyone interested in Boswell, Johnson, the 18th century or the art of biography.

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