Some chapters of this book have appeared in a slightly different form, as follows: Chapter 3 in Prem Nath (ed.), Fresh Reflections on Samuel Johnson: Essays in Criticism ( Troy, NY: Whitston, 1987), 328-48; Chapter 4 in P. J. Korshin (ed.), The Age of Johnson, 5 ( 1992), 280-301; Chapter 7 in G. Clingham (ed.), New Light on Boswell ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 56-71. Other parts of the book are unpublished. An earlier version of Chapter 2 was given as a plenary lecture at the fifth DeBartolo Conference at the University of South Florida in 1991, and Chapter 4 was given as the Rodney Baine Lecture at the University of Georgia in 1989. I am grateful to publishers and editors for permission to reprint material, and to those who attended the lectures and made valuable suggestions.
I am indebted to Barbara Looney for her active support in bringing the book into being, and to Elizabeth Latshaw for her excellent secretarial work. I should also like to thank the two publishers' readers, who made incisive and constructive criticisms of an earlier draft, and isolated some of its weaknesses with sympathy and tact.