Johnson and Boswell: The Transit of Caledonia

By Pat Rogers | Go to book overview

8
Johnson, Boswell, and Anti-Scottish
Sentiment

Hester Piozzi thought that Johnson's dislike for the Scottish nation was a matter of common information. Well before Boswell Life had enshrined familiar stories which lend credence to this view of her friend, she remarked: 'Mr Johnson's hatred of the Scotch is so well known, and so many of his bons mots expressive of that hatred have been already repeated in so many books and pamphlets . . .' ( JM i. 264-5).1 The question arises, from where exactly did all this stock of familiar knowledge derive? And when did it originate? It can be shown that it was the Journey which provoked the loudest clamour against Johnson in Scotland, as one who exhibited prejudice and a narrow nationalism. However, the roots of this suspicion went back as far as the first edition of the Dictionary; and matters would not be improved by the disputes between Johnson and James Macpherson. But there are two further complicating factors. The first is the general climate of anti-Scottish feeling which pervaded England in the third quarter of the eighteenth century--a vein of popular sentiment affecting political alignments, professional relations, and artistic trends. Second, there was the copresence of Boswell on the Hebridean tour, which led in due course to the younger man's candid account of the trip in 1785. Boswell's interest in what he regarded as a typical Johnsonian prejudice went along with an intense anxiety about his own Scottish identity, and together these were to create a highly coloured--and perhaps misleading--portrayal of Johnson as a hostile witness on matters Scottish. Yet the Journey itself is plainly deeply sympathetic to many of the people and social mores encountered by the travellers.

This is a paradox which has never been fully explored. In this chapter I aim first to give a brief review of the climate of anti- Scottish feeling which had prevailed for a number of years prior to

____________________
1
Mrs Piozzi goes on to tell a story about Johnson's likening Scotland to hell after returning from the Hebrides.

-192-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Johnson and Boswell: The Transit of Caledonia
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 245

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.