1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Isaac Reed

James Boswell, in Life of Johnson, 1791; ed. G. B. Hill (1891) 4:44.



Mr. Steevens appears, from the papers in my possession, to have supplied him [Johnson, writing Lives of the Poets] with some anecdotes and quotations; and I observe the fair hand of Mrs. Thrale as one of his copyists of select passages. But he was principally indebted to my steady friend Mr. Isaac Reed, of Staple-Inn, whose extensive and accurate knowledge of English literary history I do not express with exaggeration, when I say it is wonderful; indeed his labours have proved it to the world; and all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance can bear testimony to the frankness of his communications in private society.