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A perfectly preserved Georgian townhouse detailing the life and times of Dr. Samuel Johnson, who lived there between 1748 and 1759.
Samuel Johnson was a writer, wit and raconteur. He is famous for a multitude of memorable quotes – and perhaps the most famous London quote of all:
If a man is tired of London, he is tired of life. For there is in London all that life can afford. He also tried his hand at journalism, and reported on numerous parliamentary sittings.
He is perhaps best remembered for writing the world’s first English dictionary. It took him years to write, and came out in 1755. You can view a valuable first edition copy inside the house.
It is often mistakenly described as the first dictionary in history, but he was actually beaten by the French and Italians years before. It was, however, far and away the best of its kind – and remained so until the OED came out one hundred and fifty years later.
It contains definitions for almost 40,000 words, and is illustrated with 114,000 quotations. Some of them are quite funny:
Patron: One who countenances, supports, or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is repaid with flattery.
Dr. Johnson’s house is decorated much as it would have been during his ten-year tenure, and the walls are lined with paintings of his associates. There is also a short video presentation outlining his life and times, and a wardrobe filled with Georgian fashions.
Walk in the footsteps of Samuel Johnson – 5th Feb 2014
Explore Dr. Johnson's London – 5th Mar 2014
Walk in the footsteps of Samuel Johnson – 2nd Apr 2014
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