Derek Jarrett is Editor of the Yale edition of Horace Walpole’s Memoirs. His edition of The Memoirs of the Reign of George III will be published later this year. (March 1999)


The Doctor’s Prescription

Samuel Johnson: The Life of an Author

by Lawrence Lipking

Samuel Johnson

by W. Jackson Bate
“Johnson grown old, Johnson in the fulness of his fame and in the enjoyment of a competent fortune, is better known to us than any other man in history,” wrote Macaulay in 1831. “His vigorous, acute, and ready eloquence, his sarcastic wit, his vehemence, his insolence, his fits of tempestuous …

Twin Peaks

The Battle of the Books: History and Literature in the Augustan Age

by Joseph M. Levine
For the greater part of human history mountaintops were imagined rather than visited. As well as being desolate and difficult to reach they had in many cases been appropriated by gods and goddesses, either as permanent homes or as settings for special effects designed to overawe the humbler creation. Moses …

Rogue Genius

Henry Fielding: A Life

by Martin C. Battestin, with Ruthe R. Battestin

New Essays by Henry Fielding: His Contributions to the Craftsman (1734–1739) and Other Early Journalism

by Martin C. Battestin
“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money,” said Dr. Johnson. Few men exemplified the dictum better than Henry Fielding. He was a great writer, a hard-working journalist, and a prolific playwright as well as perhaps the first and greatest of English novelists, but he was certainly not …

Guilt-Edged Insecurity

Boswell: The Great Biographer, 1789–1795

edited by Marlies K. Danziger, edited by Frank Brady

Boswell's London Journal, 1762–1763

by James Boswell
Some have kept diaries to remind themselves of their deeds, others to reproach themselves for their misdeeds. On March 28, 1754, Thomas Turner, school-master of East Hoathly in Sussex and subsequently proprietor of the village shop, recorded remorsefully in his diary that he had been appallingly drunk that day. “Oh! …