Fun Facts Friday: Dr. Samuel Johnson

Dr. Samuel Johnson (18 September, 1709 – 12 December, 1784) was an English writer, poet and essayist who has made large contributions to English literature.

Man staring intently at a book held close to his face
Samuel Johnson by Joshua Reynolds 2” by Joshua Reynolds
Originally in English Wikipedia, uploaded 21:07, 2005 June 14 by w:User:Geogre
Scanned from: Rogers, Pat (2001).
The Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature. Oxford University Press, p. 241. ISBN 1435295811. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

  1. Born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, Samuel Johnson showed much intelligence as a child, he started school at the age of 4 and was doing so well he was promoted to the upper school at 9.
  2. Johnson has been referred to as “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history”.
  3. Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language (1755) had a great effect on modern English. The dictionary was described as “one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship”.
  4. Johnson is the subject of James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, a biography which was described as “the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature”.
  5. Johnson was known for his strange behavior and mannerisms, some of which were described in Life of Samuel Johnson. Posthumously, Dr. Jonson was diagnosed as having Tourette syndrome.
  6. Dr . Johnson’s father didn’t have much money and his son never got to finish his college degree.
  7. In 1755, Johnson finally became a college graduate when Oxford University awarded him a degree of Master of Arts.
  8. In 1765 Mr. Johnson became Dr. Johnson when he received and honorary doctorate by Trinity College Dublin.
  9. In 1756 Johnson was arrested for an outstanding debt of £5 18s. The good doctor wrote Samuel Richardson, a writer and publisher who lent him money. The two have been friends ever since.
  10. His earliest known published work was a Latin translation of Alexander Pope’s Messiah while he was a college student.

Zohar – Man of la Book

First appeared as “Fun Facts Friday: Dr. Samuel Johnson” on 18 September, 2015

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