25 Feb 2018

Early journalist James Boswell

From Standing Room Only, 2:40 pm on 25 February 2018

Eassayist, poet, editor, wit and lexicographer - Dr Samuel Johnson was undoubtedly one of the leading lights of Eighteenth Century England. And Scottish writer James Boswell's greatest hit was his comprehensive biography of Doctor Johnson. But Otago University Senior English lecturer Dr Paul Tankard became curious about Boswell's less recognised journalistic writing for the British press in the late 1700s. Boswell wrote more than 600 items for 14 newspapers and magazines of London and Edinburgh - most of them anonymously, as was the norm. Dr Paul Tankard's been awarded the William L. Mitchell Prize for Bibliography or Documentary Work on Early British Periodicals or Newspapers for his new book Facts and Inventions: Selections from the Journalism of James Boswell. Lynn Freeman discovered that many of the stories hadn't been republished for more than 200 years.