Boswell's Presumptuous Task

Boswell’s Presumptuous Task

The Making of the Life of Dr. Johnson

Format
Paperback
Price
$17.00
 
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780142001752
  • 368 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult

Overview

James Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson is the most celebrated of all biographies, acknowledged as one of the greatest and most entertaining books in the English language. Yet Boswell himself has generally been considered little more than an idiot and condemned by posterity as a lecher and drunk. How could such a fool have written such a book? With great wit, Adam Sisman here tells the story of Boswell’s presumptuous task-the making of the greatest biography of all time. Sisman traces the friendship between Boswell and Samuel Johnson, his great mentor, and provides a fascinating account of Boswell’s seven-year struggle to write The Life of Samuel Johnson.

Boswell's Presumptuous Task

Boswell’s Presumptuous Task

Adam Sisman

Awards

National Book Critics Circle Award – Winner

Praise

“Extraordinarily gripping…Sisman skillfully takes us into the biographer’s workshop.” —The New York Review of Books

“Smart and very readable…a highly affecting portrait of Boswell the writer.” —The New York Times Book Review

“[A] sparkling, companionable, and intelligent account…Sisman’s approach is attractive and stimulating to anybody interested in the ethics of biography writing.” —The Atlantic Monthly

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgements

Author’s Note

Introduction

Part One: Life Lived

1. Immaturity
2. Forwardness
3. Subordination

Part Two: Life Written

4. Independence
5. Collaboration
6. Anger
7. Discretion
8. Application
9. Rivalry
10. Bereavement
11. Humiliation
12. Struggle

Part Three: Life Published 

13. Despair
14. Posterity

List of Abbreviation Used in the Notes

Notes

Select Bibliography

Index

Survey
promo_FirsttoRead_Small
promo_EditorsDesk
promo_StaffPicks