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Journals of the Western Islands

por Samuel Johnson, James Boswell

Otros autores: Ver la sección otros autores.

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaConversaciones / Menciones
724823,486 (4.03)1 / 19
Samuel Johnson and James Boswell spent the autumn of 1773 touring through the Lowlands and Highlands of Scotland as far west as the islands of Skye, Raasay, Coll, Mull, Inchkenneth and Iona. Both kept detailed notes of their impressions, and later published separate accounts of their journey. These works contain some of the finest pieces of travel writing ever produced: they are also magnificent historical documents as well as portraits of two extraordinary men of letters. Together they paint a vivid picture of a society which was still almost unknown to the Europe of the Enlightenment. Entertaining, profound, and marvellously readable, they are a valuable chronicle of a lost age and a fascinating people. For the first time, Ronald Black's edition brings together Johnson's and Boswell's accounts of each of the six stages of the two men's journey - Lowlands, Skye, Coll, Mull and back to the mainland. Illustrated with prints by Thomas Rowlandson, it includes a critical introduction, translations of the Latin texts and brief notes.… (más)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
I read this as part of pre-trip anticipation for a similar trip, and it was interesting to compare it with my own impressions of the highlands and islands. My overall rating of four stars is a split-vote, though. Samuel Johnson's prose reveals a scintillating intellect and original observer. Even when he is wrong, sometimes pig-headedly so, as when he insists that Gaelic (he calls it Erse) was in Scotland a purely oral language until shortly before his own time, he is interesting to read. He shares with Mark Twain an ability to build an argument throughout a long paragraph and then surprise and delight the reader at the very last with the way he turns it.
Boswell's prose on the other hand made me picture him as a status-conscious, obsequious, hypocritical prig. I wondered throughout if Jane Austen used it as a model for the speech of Mr Collins, the stuffy vicar in the employ of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Where Boswell records the same incidents as Johnson, one is struck by how well Johnson is able to select what to record. Yet I stuck with Boswell to the end because of what he records of Johnson's table talk, and this was rewarding. Highly recommended, particularly Johnson's part. ( )
  HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
Marvelous preface by Chapman.
  landskip | Jul 26, 2019 |
I give it five stars because it is a beautiful book written by a couple of interesting people and gives excellent accounts of places I've never been. Learning new things always makes me happy. ( )
  NathanielPoe | Apr 14, 2019 |
Price in pounds
  ajapt | Dec 30, 2018 |
The two diarists Dr Johnson (he of Dictionary fame) and James Boswell recount their voyage (taken in the late 18th century) from Edinburgh to around the Hebrides and back. So firstly it's Dr Johnson's "A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland", which in some ways was an easier read for me, in that it was an account of the places they went to and selected people they met (see later on for Boswell's focus, which was less what I was hoping for). There was one passage near the beginning where they are travelling north of Aberdeen where he talks of being told of a previous weather event where the sand dunes were deposited inland and the landowner ended up giving up his land rather than pay to sort it out. That was interesting to me as I am pretty sure that is the same place where Donald Trump has built his highly-contested and locally unpopular golf course, where he thinks that he can control the sand dunes. Other than that, my main impression of Dr Johnson was that he could be quite bitchy, and there was a fair bit of English superiority coming across, even in the many passages where he was obviously appreciative of the hospitality he was being shown. There was also a lot of approval of the feudal system and aristocracy/royalty which I really don't like. I think what didn't help was that the image in my head of Dr Johnson is entirely based on his appearance in an episode of "Blackadder the Third", so it was sometimes hard to take it seriously! After that I read Boswell's "The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides", which I found much harder to read. Unlike Johnson's account, which was based on places, Boswell's was just a daily account, and he mainly seemed to write about the contents of conversations, regardless of whether they were relevant to the places they were visiting that day. So I did a lot of skim-reading of this one. He also seemed, like Johnson, pretty approving of status/aristocracy, but the really overwhelming impression was of his utter reverence of Dr Johnson, so I found that quite difficult, that he was praising this man for saying stuff to his hosts which I often considered quite rude! This focus just cemented the "Blackadder the Third" character as the Dr Johnson in my head! Even though I was skim-reading, it didn't make this particular account go any quicker! It was just quite hard work, I found - I had to skim, but still look frequently to see if the conversation had stopped and he had actually put in a few sentences about the place they were visiting (which was what I wanted to read!). Overall, I'm really pleased I've read both of these, but I'm not sure I'll be rushing to read them again. ( )
  Jackie_K | Sep 3, 2016 |
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Nombre del autorRolTipo de autor¿Trabajo?Estado
Samuel Johnsonautor principaltodas las edicionescalculado
Boswell, Jamesautor principaltodas las edicionesconfirmado
Black, RonaldEditorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Chapman, R. W.Editorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Daniell, WilliamIlustradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Levi, PeterEditorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
McGowan, IanEditorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
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I had desired to visit the Hebrides, or Western Islands of Scotland, so long, that I scarcely remember how the wish was originally excited; and was in the Autumn of the year 1773 induced to undertake the journey, by finding in Mr. Boswell a companion, whose acuteness would help my enquiry, and whose gayety of conversation and civility of manners are sufficient to counteract the inconveniences of travel, in countries less hospitable than we have passed.
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This work combines two works by two different authors, Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, who together toured the Hebrides in western Scotland. Johnson published his book in 1775, Boswell in 1785. Later editors have often combined the two. Boswell also described the tour more briefly in his biography of Johnson (1791).
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Samuel Johnson and James Boswell spent the autumn of 1773 touring through the Lowlands and Highlands of Scotland as far west as the islands of Skye, Raasay, Coll, Mull, Inchkenneth and Iona. Both kept detailed notes of their impressions, and later published separate accounts of their journey. These works contain some of the finest pieces of travel writing ever produced: they are also magnificent historical documents as well as portraits of two extraordinary men of letters. Together they paint a vivid picture of a society which was still almost unknown to the Europe of the Enlightenment. Entertaining, profound, and marvellously readable, they are a valuable chronicle of a lost age and a fascinating people. For the first time, Ronald Black's edition brings together Johnson's and Boswell's accounts of each of the six stages of the two men's journey - Lowlands, Skye, Coll, Mull and back to the mainland. Illustrated with prints by Thomas Rowlandson, it includes a critical introduction, translations of the Latin texts and brief notes.

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