The Life of Samuel Johnson, LLD, Comprehending an Account of His Studies and Numerous Works in Chronological Order, a Series of His Epistolary Correspondence and Conversations with Many Eminent Persons, and Various Original Pieces of His Composition Never Before Published, the Whole Exhibiting a View of Literature and Literary Men in Great Britain, for Near Half a Century, During Which He Flourished by James Boswell, 1477 pages (3 vols)
Dr Samuel Johnson was a man of remarkable accomplishments, having distinguished himself as a poet, novelist, essayist, dramatist, linguist, etymologist, critic, and journalist, the melancholy ornament of the literary, political, and social worlds of eighteenth century London. Yet he would, perhaps, be little remembered today were it not for his biography, a labor of love painstakingly assembled by his admirer, disciple, and friend James Boswell
Who to the sage devoted from his youth,
Imbib'd from him the sacred love of truth;
The keen research, the exercise of mind,
And that best art, the art to know mankind.
Boswell's Life of Johnson follows the subject's dictum that a man's character is best revealed in his mundane, everyday life rather than his public works. The result is not only a book that is a Life, but a book that lives, and perhaps "the most perfect example of biography that was ever exhibited."