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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 20791


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'His "Vanity of Human Wishes" has less of common life, but more of a philosophick dignity than his "London". More readers, therefore, will be delighted with the pointed spirit of "London", than with the profound reflection of "The Vanity Of Human Wishes". Garrick, for instance, observed in his sprightly manner, with more vivacity than regard to just discrimination, as is usual with wits, "When Johnson lived much with the Herveys, and saw a good deal of what was passing in life, he wrote his 'London', which is lively and easy. When he became more retired, he gave us his 'Vanity of Human Wishes', which is as hard as Greek. Had he gone on to imitate another satire, it would have been as hard as Hebrew".'

Century:

1700-1799

Date:

Between 1 Jan 1749 and 31 Dec 1791

Country:

n/a

Time

n/a

Place:

n/a

Type of Experience
(Reader):
 

silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Type of Experience
(Listener):
 

solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown


Reader / Listener / Reading Group:

Reader:

James Boswell

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

29 Oct 1740

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

writer and lawyer

Religion:

n/a

Country of Origin:

Scotland

Country of Experience:

n/a

Listeners present if any:
e.g family, servants, friends

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

Samuel Johnson

Title:

Vanity of Human Wishes, The

Genre:

Poetry

Form of Text:

Print: Unknown

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

20791

Source:

Print

Author:

James Boswell

Editor:

R.W. Chapman

Title:

Life of Johnson

Place of Publication:

Oxford

Date of Publication:

1980

Vol:

n/a

Page:

138

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson, (Oxford, 1980), p. 138, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=20791, accessed: 02 March 2021


Additional Comments:

Originally published 1791.

   
   
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