The Life of Samuel Johnson, Vol. I


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.2 stars; 11 reviews)

Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson is widely considered to be the greatest English-language biography ever written. It was revolutionary in its efforts to represent Johnson as he was, celebrating his flaws as well as his genius, and in Boswell's decision to represent Johnson primarily by quoting his writings and relating personal anecdotes rather than relying on matters of public record. From the time of its publication till now, The Life of Johnson has been one of the most popular and influential books ever written. (Summary by Kirsten Ferreri.)

N.B. This recording does not include the Preface, Appendices and Footnotes. (14 hr 0 min)

Chapters

Part 1 25:22 Read by Denny Sayers (d. 2015)
Part 2 21:00 Read by Jim Mowatt
Part 3 48:58 Read by Andrew Coleman
Part 4 21:46 Read by Joshua B. Christensen
Part 5 17:53 Read by Gesine
Part 6 19:53 Read by Patti Brugman
Part 7 18:11 Read by Jason Isbell
Part 8 16:44 Read by Michael Yourshaw
Part 9 21:01 Read by Michael Yourshaw
Part 10 41:03 Read by Andrew Coleman
Part 11 23:48 Read by Andrew Coleman
Part 12 29:30 Read by Andrew Coleman
Part 13 20:47 Read by Cori Samuel
Part 14 16:07 Read by Janice
Part 15 33:29 Read by Brendan Hodge
Part 16 19:41 Read by Sibella Denton
Part 17 25:41 Read by Sibella Denton
Part 18 22:44 Read by Sibella Denton
Part 19 29:29 Read by Sibella Denton
Part 20 24:50 Read by Sibella Denton
Part 21 27:06 Read by Sibella Denton
Part 22 32:10 Read by Christian Pecaut
Part 23 26:34 Read by Michael Yourshaw
Part 24 25:17 Read by inkwelldragon
Part 25 34:16 Read by Janice
Part 26 33:44 Read by Michael Yourshaw
Part 27 28:01 Read by Sibella Denton
Part 28 28:04 Read by Justin Brett
Part 29 27:45 Read by Nick Marsh
Part 30 34:55 Read by Andrew Coleman
Part 31 21:39 Read by Philippa
Part 32 22:43 Read by Philippa

Reviews

Most of the readers did quite well, & Boswell is a fine writer.


(4 stars)

I'm pleasantly surprised at Boswell's talent as a writer and observer. But in this volume at least, he mostly quotes Johnson through various letters, essays, and conversations. Apparently, Boswell was some 20-30 years younger than Johnson and lived in Edinburgh while Johnson resided in London. Almost every year, Boswell spent 2 weeks in the summer with Johnson in London. Unfortunately, Johnson burned his diaries a few days before his death. This makes it difficult for Boswell to verify whether certain events or conversations attributed to Johnson actually occurred.