Monday, September 24, 2007

JOHN CHUCKMAN REVIEW: W. JACKSON BATE'S SAMUEL JOHNSON

REVIEW OF W. JACKSON BATE'S SAMUEL JOHNSON BY JOHN CHUCKMAN, February 23, 2005


Samuel Johnson was a brilliant critic, perhaps the greatest English writer after Shakespeare, a fascinating eccentric, and a genuinely heroic man. The great merit of Mr. Bate's biography is that he succeeds in the magical illusion of bringing Johnson alive again, giving us a vivid sense of what it might have been like to know him.

The highest praise for this book is the regret you will feel when the pages end and Johnson's great figure bows out. The biography is that rare item, a genuinely inspiring book.

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