Boswell's big adventures: London, Scotland, London

Allan Ingram

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The vicarious James Boswell, biographer of Samuel Johnson, presents aworld of both real and imagined adventures, the longest of which is his move to London and away from his Scottish homeland. For Boswell, London combines activit with expectation so as to simulate the kind of adventure found in literary texts. london stands in contrast to Scotland, which for Boswell suggests workaday values and pedestrian obligations. After successfully attaching himslef to Samuel Johnson and profiting from his biography, he finds himself less able to regard London as an imaginatively compelling place, ending up seeking adventure by "killing the moments, waiting for something to happen."
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdventure: an eighteenth-century idiom: essays on the daring and the bold as a pre-modern medium
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAMS Press
Pages3-22
ISBN (Print)978-0404648589
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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