Dr. Samuel Johnson was born on September 18, 1709 in Lichfield, England as son of a librarian. He was a famous English poet, essayist, biographer, lexicographer.
Biography and Career :
He had an impressive memory and was a great student, but probably he learned much more in his father library. Family's fortune had allowed him to follow classes in Oxford University for one year.
The poverty made Johnson to leave Oxford and stay without a degree. Next six years he tried, but in vain, to obtain a job as teacher.
Later, his step daughter described him as: "thin and unwound, his hole body had a bony structure was prominentÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ had unexpected gestures which made him surprising but also ridiculous".
Even if he had a weird look and couldn't find a job as a teach
er he managed to find a wife.
In 1735 Johnson married Elizabeth "Tetty" Porter, a widow who was 21 years younger than him. The artist said it was "love on both sides".
Two years later, in 1737, Dr. Johnson decided to earn his living in London by writing. He later said: "No one, except idiotic, didn't write anything gratis".
He was hired at The Gentleman's Magazine which published poetry, news and political commentaries.
He had already had a good name when he published the poem "London" in which he talked about his disgust regarding the sordid of London life and his own incapability in winning recognition. This theme also appeared in "Life of Richard Savage", a work about a friend of him.
In 1746 a group of London editors chosed him to write a dictionary. Johnson could afford now to buy a big house in Gough Square. The project lasted seven years but brought him fame and the nickname "Johnson the Dictionary": the man who succeeded for the first time to cover the sense, orthography, pronunciation of English language in one work.
After this he had many debts and in 1756 he went to prison for a debt of 5 pounds and 18 pence, but was saved by Samuel Richardson.
Johnson continued writing, some of them are "The vanity of Human Wishes", "the Rambler", "The Idler", "Rasselas".
In 1752 Johnson's wife passed away. He tried to escape loneliness and attended literary circles.
King George III offered him an annual pension in 1762.
In his last years of life he was decorated with honorific medals from Oxford and Dublin Universities.
His last work "Lives of the Poets" was published in 1781.
On the 13th of December 1784 Dr. Johnson passed away surrounded by few close friends.
Important Works :
1747 Plan for a Dictionary of the English Language
1750-1752 "The Rambler"
1758-1760 "The Idler"
1770 "The False Alarm"
1774 "The Patriot"
1755 "Taxation No Tyranny"
1747 "Prologue at the Opening of the Theatre in Drury Lane"
1749 " The Vanity of Human Wishes"
1749 "Irene" (tragedy)
Dr Samuel Johnson Image : thrale.com
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