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A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland AND The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Samuel Johnson , James Boswell , Peter Levi
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 May 1984
Book by Samuel Johnson, published in 1775. The Journey was the result of a three-month trip to Scotland that Johnson took with James Boswell in 1773. It contains Johnson's descriptions of the customs, religion, education, trade, and agriculture of a society that was new to him. The account in Boswell's diary, published after Johnson's death as The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, with Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1785), offers an intimate personal record of Johnson's behavior and conversation during the trip.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (31 May 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140432213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140432213
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 12.8 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Samuel Johnson was born in 1709 and died in 1784--a long life, though one marred by depression and fear of death. Samuel Johnson's literary reputation rests on such a varied output that he defies easy description: poet, critic, lexicographer, travel writer, essayist, editor, and, with his good friend and fellow traveller James Boswell, a biographer. l

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
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 inquiry, and whose gaiety of conversation and civility of manners are sufficient to counteract the inconveniencies of travel, in countries less hospitable than we have passed. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Johnson and Boswell. What a Team! 4 Mar 2009
By Bob Salter TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
If you were able to select guests for a dinner party from any persons living or dead, then I would suggest that you place Samuel Johnson at the top of your list. And if you were to invite him, then you should of course invite James Boswell. Johnson would set the party ablaze with his forthright remarks and his caustic wit. His curious mind always thirsting for knowledge he would be full of questions. Boswell might interject occasionally but mostly he would be paying attention to the musings of Johnson, and would put his pearls of wisdom in pen and ink at the earliest opportunity. And so the two are captured in these fascinating travelogues/memoirs.

In 1773 when Johnson was sixty-three years old and Boswell thirty-two, the two set out on an arduous journey around Scotland. Prior to the trip Boswell had mentioned the idea to Voltaire. Wrote Boswell. "He looked at me as if I had talked of going to the North Pole....". Johnson and Boswell had already been friends for ten years and. Their journals of this journey are published here together. "A journey to the Western Isles of Scotland" was written by Johnson and "The journal of a Tour to the Hebrides" was written by Boswell. Johnson's incredible interest in the world and his close observations of subjects as diverse as ancient arrowheads to the medicinal waters of Loch Ness are carefully recorded.

In Boswells account we get a very personal observation of the character of Johnson. Whilst Johnson was meticulously observing Scotland he was being meticulously observed by Boswell. His record is very entertaining and full of Johnson's sardonic wit. Johnson was expecting Scotland to be a wild and barbaric country. Bearing in mind this was less than thirty years after Culloden that is not an unreasonable assumption.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Friendship. 4 Mar 2009
By Bob Salter TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
If you were able to select guests for a dinner party from any persons living or dead, then I would suggest that you place Samuel Johnson at the top of your list. And if you were to invite him, then you should of course invite James Boswell. Johnson would set the party ablaze with his forthright remarks and his caustic wit. His curious mind always thirsting for knowledge he would be full of questions. Boswell might interject occasionally but mostly he would be paying attention to the musings of Johnson, and would put his pearls of wisdom in pen and ink at the earliest opportunity. And so the two are captured in these fascinating travelogues/memoirs.

In 1773 when Johnson was sixty-three years old and Boswell thirty-two, the two set out on an arduous journey around Scotland. Prior to the trip Boswell had mentioned the idea to Voltaire. Wrote Boswell. "He looked at me as if I had talked of going to the North Pole....". Johnson and Boswell had already been friends for ten years and. Their journals of this journey are published here together. "A journey to the Western Isles of Scotland" was written by Johnson and "The journal of a Tour to the Hebrides" was written by Boswell. Johnson's incredible interest in the world and his close observations of subjects as diverse as ancient arrowheads to the medicinal waters of Loch Ness are carefully recorded.

In Boswells account we get a very personal observation of the character of Johnson. Whilst Johnson was meticulously observing Scotland he was being meticulously observed by Boswell. His record is very entertaining and full of Johnson's sardonic wit. Johnson was expecting Scotland to be a wild and barbaric country. Bearing in mind this was less than thirty years after Culloden that is not an unreasonable assumption.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars what better companion for a highland ramble 8 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
not that easy to navigate around the kindle version, e.g. searching for particular places if you want to read snippets out of sequence, but an excellent read.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Dunedin
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have rated this on the basis of somebody interested in travel around and history of the Scottish Highlands and Islands - if not move on.
This volume combines two books covering the same journey - plus lots of reference notes at the back. So a bit of a hassle to read easily. Perhaps it would be better if they had been compiled with one book on each side to read in parallel. I ended up reading in sections to match the journey.
This hassle aside, it is an absolutely fascinating insight into the period, shortly after the 1745 rebellion had ended and before things had changed entirely.
Of the two volumes Dr Johnson's is the easier and better read in the modern world. More factual and descriptive.
A lot of Boswell's book describes detail of conversations had en route - and he was clearly infatuated by then society and its privileges and airs. But again it is fascinating in its won right, even if some of the sections on society tittle tattle can be skip read. But it is fascinating where he meets and speaks to key people in the history of the time, including the Flora MacDonald and others who helped the Prince escape to and from Skye after 1745.
Not an easy book but a unique window into Scottish history circa 1775
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 31 Aug 2011
By JJ
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Arrived promptly, well wrapped, and in excellent condition. A great read and a worthwhile purchase. Would use again. Thank you!
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