Johnson, Samuel (1709–1784) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Johnson, Samuel(1709–1784)

Samuel Johnson, the English man of letters, poet, lexicographer, moralist, and humanist, was born in Lichfield, the son of an indigent bookseller. After his early education at Lichfield Grammar School, he tried schoolmastering for a brief period. In 1728 he entered Pembroke College, Oxford, but was compelled to leave the following year because of lack of funds. As a child he had suffered from scrofula and later from melancholia, a mental illness that plagued him throughout life, at times pushing him to the brink of insanity. In 1735 he married Mrs. Henry Porter, a widow who was twenty years his senior. After more futile attempts at schoolmastering, Johnson set out for London on horseback in 1737, taking with him one of his pupils, David Garrick. A journalist and hack writer par excellence, Johnson wrote for the Gentleman's Magazine and in addition produced poetry, essays, biographies...

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This section contains 1,849 words
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Johnson, Samuel (1709–1784) from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.