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8 votes

Why did Johnson scoff those "who toil at the lower employments of life" in the preface to his dictionary?

The passage you bolded is not a list of vices! It is a list of unhappy conditions. The first clause is the trickiest of the three: to be rather driven by the fear of evil, than attracted by the ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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6 votes

Exactly how long did Johnson take to complete his dictionary?

A Dictionary of the English Language was published on 15 April 1755, and John Hawkins says, in his life of Johnson, that the contract for the Dictionary was signed on 18 June 1746, so that Johnson ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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4 votes

Where did Samuel Johnson say Macbeth is wholly reviled?

From Samuel Johnson's General Observations on the plays of Shakespeare (I couldn't find a full text of this publication online, but it's quoted in several places including the paper Arthur Sherbo, &...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes

What's Samuel Johnson truly saying about Dryden and Pope?

This is a paraphrase of the Johnson's text quoted in the question. It is clear that Johnson sees differences between the two poets, thinking the one is capable of better work, but not consistently so,...
kimchi lover's user avatar
  • 3,900

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