Saturday, September 15, 2007

Doctor Johnson, I presume?

We spent some time today in the Samuel Johnson museum in Lichfield today. I hadn’t realised Johnson was one of Lichfield’s finest sons (Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles, and David Garrick, the actor are two others).
The museum resides in the house that once belonged to Johnson’s father, Michael. He had his bookshop there on the ground floor. It’s not a large house, although there are four storeys, but it’s in a prime location, in the market square. (Johnson’s statue stands at one end of the square now, and Boswell’s at the other).
The museum certainly inspires a considerable interest in Johnson: you want to go out and buy the Life of Johnson, or his Dictionary (an abridged version at least) or a book of Johnson’s impeccably-phrased and pithy sayings. He makes you love the English language.
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