Boswell's London Journal, 1762-1763

James Boswell; Edited by Frederick A. Pottle

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In 1762 James Boswell, then twenty-two years old, left Edinburgh for London. The famous Journal he kept during the next nine months is an intimate account of his encounters with the high-life and the low-life in London. In it Boswell tells of his struggle for independence from his family; he talks of his developing friendship with Samuel Johnson; he describes taverns, playhouses, and coffee houses he frequented; and he relates conversations he had with figures such as the poet James MacPherson and the actor David Garrick. The Journal, frank and confessional as a personal portrait of the young Boswell, is also revealing as a vivid portrayal of life in eighteenth-century London.

Boswell's London Journal, with its useful introduction, scholarly notes, and extensive index, was first published in 1950 to high acclaim and has since become a classic in the field.

The late Frederick Pottle was Sterling Professor of English Emeritus at Yale University. Throughout much of his life, he was editor, bibliographer, and biographer of James Boswell.

"[The journal is] more perceptive and uninhibited and magically alive than one could have hoped. . . . Boswell transforms the most trifling occurrences into adventures, and imparts to the reader his own surpassing lust for experience and his keen sense of the fascination of life."—Austin Wright, Virginia Quarterly Review


"The journal is admirably edited and annotated by Frederick A. Pottle."—W. H. Auden, New Yorker

“Boswell was 22 when he left Edinburgh for London in 1762, and his vivid, lively journal of the next nine months, recording his intimate encounters with the literati and the low life of London, is a classic.”—Toronto Globe and Mail

ISBN: 9780300057355
Publication Date: August 26, 1992
408 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

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