Samuel Johnson and the Culture of Property

Synopsis

Kevin Hart traces the vast literary legacy and reputation of Samuel Johnson. Through detailed analyses of the biographers and critics who carefully crafted and preserved Johnson's life for posterity, Hart explores the emergence of "The Age of Johnson." Hart argues that James Boswell turned his friend into a monument, a piece of public property. Through subtle analyses of copyright, forgery and heritage in eighteenth-century life Kevin Hart demonstrates how Johnson came to occupy a place at the heart of the English literary canon.