A Journey to the Western Islands ofScotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

A Journey to the Western Islands ofScotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides Samuel Johnson s A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and James Boswell s The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides recounts their tour of Scotland in While Johnson focuses on Scotland itself

  • Title: A Journey to the Western Islands ofScotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides
  • Author: Samuel Johnson James Boswell Peter Levi
  • ISBN: 9780140432213
  • Page: 317
  • Format: Paperback
  • Samuel Johnson s A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and James Boswell s The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides recounts their tour of Scotland in 1773 While Johnson focuses on Scotland itself, Boswell is even keener on presenting his friend to the notables of his homeland Together they form a complete account of a fascinating journey, two intriguing personalitieSamuel Johnson s A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and James Boswell s The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides recounts their tour of Scotland in 1773 While Johnson focuses on Scotland itself, Boswell is even keener on presenting his friend to the notables of his homeland Together they form a complete account of a fascinating journey, two intriguing personalities, and of a society coming to terms with itself after a period of drastic upheaval.

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      Published :2019-04-01T05:36:18+00:00

    About "Samuel Johnson James Boswell Peter Levi"

    1. Samuel Johnson James Boswell Peter Levi

      Samuel Johnson was an English author Beginning as a Grub Street journalist, he made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, novelist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer Johnson has been described as arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history He is also the subject of one of the most celebrated biographies in English, James Boswell s Life of Samuel Johnson Boswell s Life, along with other biographies, documented Johnson s behaviour and mannerisms in such detail that they have informed the posthumous diagnosis of Tourette syndrome TS , a condition unknown to 18th century physicians He presented a tall and robust figure, but his odd gestures and tics were confusing to some on their first encounter with him.Johnson was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, and attended Pembroke College, Oxford for a year, before his lack of funds forced him to leave After working as a teacher he moved to London, where he began to write essays for The Gentleman s Magazine His early works include the biography The Life of Richard Savage and the poem The Vanity of Human Wishes Johnson was a devout and compassionate man, whose Christian morality permeated his works Although he was a conservative Anglican, he respected those of other denominations who demonstrated a commitment to Christ s teachings.After nine years of work, his Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755, bringing him popularity and success until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary, 150 years later, Johnson s was viewed as the preeminent British dictionary In the following years, he published essays, an influential annotated edition of William Shakespeare s plays, and the well read novel Rasselas In 1763, he befriended James Boswell, with whom he later travelled to Scotland Johnson s travel narrative A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland described the journey Towards the end of his life, he produced the massive and influential Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, which includes biographies and evaluations of 17th and 18th century poets After a series of illnesses, Johnson died on the evening of 13 December 1784 he was buried in Westminster Abbey In the years following his death, Johnson began to be recognised as having had a lasting effect on literary criticism, and even as the only great critic of English literature.

    115 thoughts on “A Journey to the Western Islands ofScotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides”

    1. Two buds go for a romp in the Highlands of Scotland. In A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland we get a glimpse of the bromance between dictionary man Samuel Johnson and lawyer James Boswell as they hike through the hills and lochs down to the isles along the west coast. Boswell, a Scot, plays host to Johnson, showing him the sights, which are nicely described, as well as introducing him to some of the more colorful characters of the area. This is fairly light reading with a touch of airy [...]

    2. Read Dr Johnson's part of this volume; don't care enough about Boswell to read his. Johnson's is, as expected, full of witty insights and powerful moral judgments.

    3. Right, I promise I will put a book up soon that I didn't have to read for English, but since we had one almost every week, I haven't had time for reading much else lately, and they're also the ones on my shelves. As for "Journey to the Western Islands", there's a lot more to say about it than you'd think. To some extent, it really is just a fairly long and sometimes tedious catalogue of road conditions and food eaten. Maybe I'm biased as I'm currently in Scotland (and he visisted St Andrews, whe [...]

    4. Best of friends, James Boswell and Samuel Johnson, venture into the wild, barbarous country of Scotland. (It turns out not to be quite so barbarous, but they meet a lot of wonderful people along the way.)As travelogues go, I have to say that I found it a bit on the dull side. Still, there are some good points:1.) While Johnson is busy observing the country and its people, Boswell is busy observing Johnson, leading to some great anecdotes regarding that grand character.2.) It's an interesting vie [...]

    5. In the autumn of l773 Boswell convinced Johnson, who was usually highly critical of all things Scottish, to go on a voyage to Scotland, traveling from the cities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen and the lowlands to the Highlands and then to some of the Hebrides islands, off the west coast of Scotland, an expedition that took 83 days. Johnson was a sedentary type so to go on this rugged trip, by carriage, horseback, and boat, was a major undertaking for a 63 year old man. At one point when they were bri [...]

    6. Good company on my own recent vacation travels. In 1773, Johnson and his trusty pal Boswell took a trip to the Highlands and Inner Hebrides of Scotland, a world Johnson clearly viewed as wild and dangerous (as it mostly was then). His account is part of a long tradition, of course, from the Romans to the present-day English, of describing the country as the last (quasi) wilderness to either vanquish or escape to. Although Johnson takes a somewhat anthropological approach, investigating the curio [...]

    7. I think reading these two journals is a bit different since the first one by Dr Johnson (117 pages) is focused on various cities/towns while the second by Boswell (349 pages) on successive dates along the route. I longed to read both some years ago and when I finished reading them, my verdict is that the one by Boswell is more readable because he's included lots of related details with interesting direct quotes by Dr Johnson and those he/Boswell met. However, you won't be disappointed if you pre [...]

    8. Johnson observes Scotland and its islands while Boswell observes Johnson. Boswell must be the original groupie and certainly hung on every word of Johnson's no matter how trivial. The prose style is of its time, which helps a lot because both these men could spin a yarn.

    9. I read this whilst travelling to my elective in the Hebrides over 10 years ago, and I still remember it today. I brought it from a second hand book shop whilst waiting for a bus in Inverness. Great read and fascinating.

    10. Anyone interested in visiting the Western Highlands and Islands should read this book. Johnson can be pompous and chauvinistic. He speaks from a privileged position of a wealthy and respected Englishman only centuries after the Jacobite Rebellion was vanquished. So take his many observations in context. It's interesting to see how his Scotland lines up the modern country and how his view of Highlanders contrasts with the modern inhabitants of that region.

    11. Listened to this in anticipation of a trip to Scotland. I had read the journals many years ago. I was reminded of what a curmudgeon Samuel Johnson was, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    12. Chapman, R. W editor (1924). Johnson’s Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson LL.D. London: Oxford University Press.Johnson: A charm of this book as certainly the sequence of names of towns that I heard in my youth but visited only as an adult. Johnson’s account is of a race, using the word in the old British sense, conquered only 27 years earlier than the time of his visit, and of the transition from the tribal and wa [...]

    13. Having just completed my own trip to Scotland (including Islay) I was eager to read a historical account from 240 years prior. My audiobook interwove Johnson and Boswell's accounts with fine characterization and great vigor, making Dr. Johnson's bon mots all the more beautiful for the personal intimacy (ie. His thoughts on boats as prisons with the added risk of drowning was as funny as if it were my own crotchety grandfather harrumphing it)"I thank you, Sir!! For such familial praise is well me [...]

    14. I came to this book for the landscape, having toured many of the same sights myself, but I stayed for Johnson’s powers of expression and his knack for capturing a glimpse of eternity in a handful of sentences; stayed, also, for Boswell’s skill with sifting through the drudgeries of ordinary life and Johnson’s irascible personality, and coming up with gold.Be warned: Johnson’s bias against both Scotland and lower-class people is evident throughout his account, and he will likely offend a [...]

    15. This refers to Johnson's A Journey only. I have read it several times (teaching 18th-c. English lit) and found it a delight to return.Johnson's ability to generalize on the basis of his observations is surely out of date in this moment of tribal peculiarities but is nonetheless amazingly pointed and apt. His style demands attention for its strength and precision though it might be difficult to emulate without his penetrating certitudes.The Highlands and the Western Islands (the Hebrides) are rem [...]

    16. Divided in two very different parts: the first one told by Johnson; the second by Bowell, it has things to entertain and amuse both types of audiences. The one quality that is shared by both is the amiability. Each one has a very different way of telling about their travels, but both are interesting because of each one seems to be enjoying it very much, and I different ways. Johnson in an amiable way focuses on the vicissitudes of the trip, the scenery, provides the sociologist's eye, the curios [...]

    17. Read for:EN1004: Explorers and Revolutionaries - Literature 1680-1830This had some interesting comments about Scotland, and I particularly found the section on St. Andrews ironic considering that I'm currently studying at the university that he says will soon crumble into ruin. But other than that, there wasn't a lot in this book that appealed to me. If you're looking for an outsider's opinion on Scotland in the eighteenth century, this is your book. I'm sure it would be fascinating from a histo [...]

    18. This is the book I read containing both Samual Johnson's travel account of his trip with Boswell in 1773 to Scotland. See my earlier review of A Journey to the western Isles by Johnson. Boswell wrote and published his journal of the same trip. Boswell did not have much of an interest in the places visited. Instead, he tried to capture the conversations of Johnson with those they encountered during the trip. Johnson was considered a great writer and celebrity. Boswell felt that by capturing Johns [...]

    19. Samuel Johnson was a famous English scholar and writer of the 18th century. I read his account of a 1773 trip to Scotland because I thought it would provide some interesting insights into the the land and people. He and James Boswell made this trip thirty years after the British stopped Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite Rebellion at the Battle of Culloden and tried to rob the Scots of their customs and identity in order to pacify them. I wasn't surprised to find it a bit of a disappointment. John [...]

    20. Two seventeenth century city buds on a tour, and their trip diaries. They are, it is true, better educated than 99% of the rest of the citizens of the British Isles, so the writing is mainly legible. One does have to make quite a few allowances for the attitudes, humor and lack of real knowledge of the sciences & natural history, but, it sounded like a fun trip through areas that had only recently been "pacified" & were considered barbarous by even those rough standards.As noted by too m [...]

    21. Interesting, as a picture of a vanished way of life, but not really gripping. Johnson and Boswell were disappointed that the highland had changed since the glory days of the Jacobite rebellion, but of course to the perspective of 2015, anything from the 1770s is exotic. Can't say I really warmed to either Johnson or Boswell as individuals although everything Johnson said came out in my head as Robbie Coltrane playing Johnson in Blackadder. There was just too much padding to wade through between [...]

    22. I have nothing but admiration for Dr Johnson. I respect his views, erudition, intelligence, curiosity and opinions. I like that he wrote a dictionary so I can check the words in his vocabulary that I do not understand. I am afraid his mate Boswell, although charming and companionable, may have been a little bit of a buffoon. Together they toured Scotland and recorded the last gasps of a disappearing way of life and culture. It is strange how Scotland now treasures those aspects of its Gaelic pas [...]

    23. This was a very interesting read, although a little slow-going at times. I chose this book specifically to read while touring many of the same areas Johnson and Boswell visited in Scotland. It was quite enjoyable to read the two gentlemen's descriptions of a place, and then go visit it for myself. Occasionally, Johnson's dry analytics and Boswell's extreme exuberance were a bit much, but I appreciated the insight the book provided into the personalities and perspectives of these two admirable me [...]

    24. Seriously does there really have to be a 150 page book of this guys complaints about the Scotts? Ooh and lets not forget those trees common. And you cannot complain for that long and then try and pretend to be humble at the end so very very sad, lol. Not my favorite, as you can tell. I only read Johnson's Journey to the Western Islands though I have a feeling Boswell would have given me a far greater impression! ;)

    25. I just cannot connect with this book despite it having a great deal of merit. As a primary historical source, reflecting upon the devastation experienced by the Highlanders after the clearances and union of the crowns, it is not a riveting read and gave me something of a headache!It may be a classic and it may be worth reading to enhance one's knowledge of historical matters pertaining to late C18th Scotland but it certainly isn't entertaining in a modern sense.

    26. Yes, I am fully aware that the rating is sacrilege, but I do not like the self-righteous, querulous, over confident twit who is Samuel Johnson or his enabler, James Boswell. This reading was an attempt to give them another chance to win me over, but they lost me instead. I imagine that much of the lengthy detail herein will be heaven to anthropologists, but as a more casual reader I found too much of it dull.

    27. I wanted to love this book, and maybe the problem lies with me, in that what I expected differed from what was present.I thought I would be reading about the people of Scotland, the scenery, the wildlife, the travel.Instead, I got a lot of repeated conversations, archaic language, and pompous observations about how much better England is when compared to Scotland. It took a long time for me to get through this one, so I can only give it a mediocre rating.

    28. Took so long pouring over this book, I just incurred my first-ever library fine! Blogged about Johnson's chapter on The Highlands. The essay can be viewed at my blog link on .I enjoyed this, but it's too much work to read around the tone of the 18th century. Haven't enough time left on this plane to fit in all the books I'd like to read that were written after the 19th century, let alone earlier books.

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