The Lives of the Poets: Boxed Set (Samuel Johnson Oxford English Texts) (v. 1-4)

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9780199278978: The Lives of the Poets: Boxed Set (Samuel Johnson Oxford English Texts) (v. 1-4)

Johnson himself wrote in 1782: "I know not that I have written any thing more generally commended than the Lives of the Poets." Always recognized as a major biographical and critical achievement, Samuel Johnson's last literary project is also one of his most readable and entertaining, written with characteristic eloquence and conviction, and at times with combative trenchancy.

Johnson's fifty-two biographies constitute a detailed survey of English poetry from the early seventeenth century down to his own time, with extended discussions of Cowley, Milton, Waller, Dryden, Addison, Prior, Swift, Pope, and Gray. The Lives also include Johnson's memorable biography of the enigmatic Richard Savage (1744), the friend of his own early years in London.

Roger Lonsdale's Introduction describes the origins, composition, and textual history of the Lives, and assesses Johnson's assumptions and aims as biographer and critic. The commentary provides a detailed literary and historical context, investigating Johnson's sources, relating the Lives to his own earlier writings and conversation, and to the critical opinions of his contemporaries, as well as illustrating their early reception. This is the first scholarly edition since George Birkbeck Hill's three-volume Oxford edition (1905).

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About the Author:


Emeritus Fellow of Balliol and former Professor of English at the University of Oxford, Roger Lonsdale is the editor of The New Oxford Book of Eighteenth-Century Verse (1987).

Review:


"It is quite simply a marvelous scholarly performance. Lonsdale had to deal with not easily legible manuscripts, with proofs in various stages, with the errors and inconsistencies of earlier editions.... But his greatest achievement is probably the commentaries on the poems.... When you consider that there were so many poets like Stepney, as well as major poets of whom, though much is known, more is still to be discovered, you might say that Lonsdale's labors have probably been more arduous than Johnson's, and must sometimes have been 'tedious and troublesome.' But the standard of modern Johnson scholarship is high, and these volumes will be regarded by Lonsdale's peers as monuments to a heroic achievement."--Frank Kermode, he New York Review of Books


"The majestic new Oxford edition of Johnson's 'Lives of the Poets,' edited by the eminent eighteenth-century scholar Roger Lonsdale, testifies to the rarity of what Johnson achieved.... This is literary criticism as valuable, as deserving of annotation and emendation, as the poetry it criticizes. This new, four-volume edition of the Lives helps to situate Johnson's work in a broader and deeper eighteenth-century context than ever before, shedding light on every facet of their composition and reception."--Adam Kirsch, The New Criterion


"Roger Lonsdale, an authority on the period, has published a tremendous four-volume scholarly text, with very full notes and an introduction which is a book in itself."--James Fenton--The Guardian


"For its combination of searching scholarship, organizatinoal design, and critical flair, Lonsdale's 'standard' edition of the Lives will be hard--impossible, I should think--to excel or displace." --Eighteenth-Century Life


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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2006. Multiple copy pack. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Johnson himself wrote in 1782: I know not that I have written any thing more generally commended than the Lives of the Poets . Always recognized as a major biographical and critical achievement, Samuel Johnson s last literary project is also one of his most readable and entertaining, written with characteristic eloquence and conviction, and at times with combative trenchancy. Johnson s fifty-two biographies constitute a detailed survey of English poetry from the early seventeenth century down to his own time, with extended discussions of Cowley, Milton, Waller, Dryden, Addison, Prior, Swift, Pope, and Gray. The Lives also include Johnson s memorable biography of the enigmatic Richard Savage (1744), the friend of his own early years in London. Roger Lonsdale s Introduction describes the origins, composition, and textual history of the Lives, and assesses Johnson s assumptions and aims as biographer and critic. The commentary provides a detailed literary and historical context, investigating Johnson s sources, relating the Lives to his own earlier writings and conversation, and to the critical opinions of his contemporaries, as well as illustrating their early reception. This is the first scholarly edition since George Birkbeck Hill s three-volume Oxford edition (1905). Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199278978

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2006. Multiple copy pack. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Johnson himself wrote in 1782: I know not that I have written any thing more generally commended than the Lives of the Poets . Always recognized as a major biographical and critical achievement, Samuel Johnson s last literary project is also one of his most readable and entertaining, written with characteristic eloquence and conviction, and at times with combative trenchancy. Johnson s fifty-two biographies constitute a detailed survey of English poetry from the early seventeenth century down to his own time, with extended discussions of Cowley, Milton, Waller, Dryden, Addison, Prior, Swift, Pope, and Gray. The Lives also include Johnson s memorable biography of the enigmatic Richard Savage (1744), the friend of his own early years in London. Roger Lonsdale s Introduction describes the origins, composition, and textual history of the Lives, and assesses Johnson s assumptions and aims as biographer and critic. The commentary provides a detailed literary and historical context, investigating Johnson s sources, relating the Lives to his own earlier writings and conversation, and to the critical opinions of his contemporaries, as well as illustrating their early reception. This is the first scholarly edition since George Birkbeck Hill s three-volume Oxford edition (1905). Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199278978

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