A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland Background

A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland Background

Samuel Johnson, more widely known as Dr Johnson published his book "A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland", in 1775. The book was the journal of a three month trip to Scotland that he took with his dear friend and biographer, James Boswell, in 1773. It includes Johnson's descriptions of the previously alien to him society of the farthermost islands, such as customs, religion, education, trade and agriculture.

Boswell himself also published a similar account of the same journey and after Johnson's death; "The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with a Samuel Johnson, LLD" is a personal record of the particulars of Johnson's conversation and behavior during the voyage. The two narratives are often published as a single volume which gives two perspectives of the same journey although their focuses are very different. Boswell focused on England whilst Johnson was preoccupied without Scotland.

Samuel Johnson was one of the most important figures in English literature as a poet, essayist and the author of the most influential dictionary in the English language. Although a student at Oxford University he did not ever earn his degree because of a lack of funds. However he still went on to become the pre-eminent scholar of his generation. When he died in 1774 he was buried in westminster Abbey .

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