The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol 18

Johnson on the English Language

Samuel Johnson; Edited by Gwin J. Kolb and Robert DeMaria, Jr.

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November 22, 2005
560 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300106725
Cloth

This volume collects the most important statements on the English language by Samuel Johnson, one of its greatest expositors and speakers. The book includes scholarly, fully annotated editions of Johnson’s main writings on the history, structure, and cultural importance of the English language as well as his reflections on lexicography. These texts represent Johnson’s thinking as he undertook and completed the major work of his life, the colossal Dictionary of the English Language.
The editors set Johnson’s writings on the English language in historical context and provide the fullest possible account of their composition. Among the works presented in the volume are Johnson’s Plan of a Dictionary of the English Language and the Preface to the Dictionary, both of which are counted among his finest works of prose.

Gwin J. Kolb is Chester D. Tripp Professor Emeritus in Humanities, University of Chicago. Robert DeMaria, Jr., is Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English at Vassar College.

A main selection of Readers' Subscription 

"Thanks . . . to the consummate and consummating editors of Johnson on the English Language: Gwin J. Kolb and Robert DeMaria, Jr. Their cooperation—with one another and with Johnson—is magnificent. Their erudition is immense and yet measured, deep and yet crystalline."—Christopher Ricks, New Criterion

 

"The latest superb volume of the Yale edition of [Johnson’s] works."—Eric Ormsby, New York Sun

"Since these writings are never again likely to be critically edited, it is fortunate they fell in to such capable hands; two editors who, in an imperfect world, have reached a high level of perfection, and prepared a model edition likely to stand the test of time."—O.M. Brack, Jr., The Eighteenth-Century Intelligencer
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