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All the Sweets of Being: A Life of James Boswell

Roger Hutchinson

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ISBN 10: 1851587020 / ISBN 13: 9781851587025
Published by Mainstream Pub Co Ltd
Used Condition: GOOD Hardcover
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Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, that’ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Bookseller Inventory # 2608709078

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Bibliographic Details

Title: All the Sweets of Being: A Life of James ...

Publisher: Mainstream Pub Co Ltd

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:GOOD

About this title


In this rich and witty new biography of the talented and adventurous son of a landed Ayrshire family, Roger Hutchinson separates the truth from the myth. All the Sweets of Being shows James Boswell in the circumstances and the places which formed him: in the hectic, confused world of Edinburgh society in the years following the Union of Parliaments and the Jacobite Uprising of 1745; in the flesh-pots and salons of London, the infant capital of empire and the most exciting city on earth; and on the most extraordinary Grand Tour ever undertaken by a young Briton, from tedious Utrecht to sinful Italy and the wild, tumultuous revolutionary wars of the island of Corsica.
Boswell is shown as a friend and confidant of most of the significant figures of his time. We see him gate-crashing the reluctant Rousseau and the malicious Voltaire in Switzerland; we find him being cultivated by the ageing Samuel Johnson; and we watch him become a life-long friend of one of the most impressive statesmen of the Enlightenment, Pasquale Paoli. Other figures slip exuberantly on and off this busy stage: the half-mad George III; the mischievous political exile John Wilkes; the controversial James Macpherson; David Garrick, Flora Macdonald, Edmund Burke, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Horace Walpole, David Hume, and - always in the background like an Old Testament prophet - his own sharp-tongued, exasperated father, the Edinburgh judge Lord Auchinleck.
All the Sweets of Being is an account of high life, low life, political life and literary life in one of the most dazzling epochs of European history - and of the man who, more than anybody else, enjoyed and portrayed without prejudice his time, his people, and his own fantastical career.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this sympathetic portrait of the Scots author, Hutchinson sets out to rescue Boswell (1740-1795) from his reputation as a drunken womanizer who chased cravenly after Samuel Johnson in order to write the literary giant's biography (The Life of Samuel Johnson, 1791). Hutchinson, an English writer (Crimes of War: The Antanas Gecas Affair), argues that the friendship between the two was mutual and that Johnson cultivated Boswell, 30 years his junior, and eagerly toured the Hebrides with him. In his 20s, Boswell fled the narrow Edinburgh world of his birth for the stimulating environment of London. He met with Voltaire and Rousseau, among other notables, and traveled to Corsica, later writing about the Corsican fight for independence (Account of Corsica, 1768). After numerous love affairs, he married in 1769 and fathered many children. Despite the inclusion of a wealth of interesting historical detail, Hutchinson's rambling account does not ultimately do his subject justice. Photos.

Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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