Reconsidering Biography

Martine W. Brownley (Ed.)

Contexts, Controversies, and Sir John Hawkin's Life of Johnson

196 pages
ISBN 1611483833

As part of the Samuel Johnson tercentenary commemoration, the University of Georgia Press published the first full scholarly edition of Sir John Hawkin's Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D (1787). From its inception, Hawkins's work, arising from a close relationship with Johnson that spanner over forty-five years, challenged certain adulatory views of Johnson and has continued to raise interesting critical questions about both Johnsonian biography and the genre of biography generally. Reconsidering Biography collects new essays that explore Hawkins's biography of Johnson within its historical, political, legal, and personal contexts. More particularly, this volume considers how Hawkins's approach to recording the Life of Johnson opens up broader questions about early modern biography and its relationship with eighteenth-century trends in aesthetics, politics, and historiography. These sophisticated and informed essays on a curious and often vexed friendship, and its literary offspring, supply a colorful and expansive view of the role of life-writing in the eighteenth-century imagination.

Contributors: O.M. Brack, Jr., Martine W. Brownley, Greg Clingham, Timothy Erwin, Christopher D. Johnson, Thomas Kaminski, Myron D. Yeager


Read a review in Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century here.

Read the University press article here.

About the editor:

Martine W. Brownley is Goodrich C. White Professor of English at Emory University.


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