Samuel Johnson


The son of a Lichfield bookseller, Samuel Johnson studied briefly at Oxford (1728, M.A. by diploma 1755, honorary D.C.L. 1775). After a stint as a schoolmaster, in 1737 he migrated to London with Garrick. After publishing his London (1738) and working for the Gentleman's Magazine he was engaged on the Dictionary from 1747 to 1755; his edition of Shakespeare was published in 1765. Among many other projects Johnson edited The Rambler (1750-52) and The Idler (1758-60). His Lives of the Poets (1779-81) set a benchmark for later literary criticism and biography.


1741 ca.On Colley Cibber.
1750Rambler 37 [On Pastoral.]
1751Rambler 102 [The Gulph of Intemperance.]
1751Rambler 121 [On Spenser Imitations.]
1754To the Reverend Mr. Thomas Warton.
1755A Dictionary of the English Language: Preface.
1759[Idler 60: Critical Views of Dick Minim.]
1760[Idler 91: Status of the English Language.]
1777 ca.[Untitled, "Wheresoe'er I turn my view."]
1779Works of the English Poets: Abraham Cowley.
1779Works of the English Poets: Ambrose Philips.
1779Works of the English Poets: Gilbert West.
1779Works of the English Poets: John Dryden.
1779Works of the English Poets: John Milton.
1779Works of the English Poets: Matthew Prior.


A voyage to Abyssinia, by Father Jerome Lobo [trans.] 1735.
London: a poem. 1738.
Marmor Norfolciense. 1739.
A compleat vindication of the licensers of the stage. 1739.
An account of the life of Mr Richard Savage. 1744.
Miscellaneous observations on the tragedy of Macbeth. 1745.
The plan of a dictionary of the English language. 1747.
Irene: a tragedy. 1749.
The vanity of human wishes. 1749.
The rambler. 8 vols, 1750-52.
The adventurer. 2 vols, 1753-54.
A dictionary of the English language. 2 vols, 1755.
The idler. 1758-60.
Rasselas. 1759.
The plays of William Shakespeare. 8 vols, 1765.
The false alarm. 1770.
Thoughts on late transactions respecting Falkland's Islands. 1771.
The patriot. 1774.
A journey to the Western Isles of Scotland. 1775.
Taxation no tyranny. 1775.
Prefaces, biographical and critical, to the works of the English poets. 10 vols, 1779-81.
Prayers and meditations. 1785.
Works, ed. Sir John Hawkins. 11 vols, 1787.
Correspondence, ed. R. W. Chapman. 3 vols, 1952.
Works, ed. A. T. Hazen and J. H. Middendorf. 1958-.
Letters, ed. Bruce Redford. 5 vols, 1992-94.