Hitchings, H: Dr. Johnson's Dictionary: The Extraordinary Story of the Book That Defined the World

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9780719566318: Hitchings, H: Dr. Johnson's Dictionary: The Extraordinary Story of the Book That Defined the World
Review:

'We know a great deal about Samuel Johnson!Hitchings approaches the formidable presence from a different angle, showing us how the whole man can be found in the pages of his Dictionary'. -- Literary Review 20050415 'Hitchings offers us a highly entertaining guided tour!anyone interested in dictionaries, Dr Johnson or the English language will surely spend many happy hours with this book' -- The Independent 20050415 'A goldmine of pleasures ... Hitchings has an infectious relish for words ... Ingenious and fascinating' -- The Sunday Times 20050327 'Excellent.' -- Daily Express 20050401 'Immensely enjoyable, easily erudite' -- Scotland On Sunday 20050403 'I can warmly recommend Henry Hitching's book!affectionate in its portrayal of Johnson, the book itself is immensely likeable, written with serious intent and gentle good humour.' -- Spectator 20050409 'Lively and entertaining' -- Observer 20050424 'A pleasant stroll, with a genial guide, through Johnson's life!anyone who picks up this book will have a whale ("the largest of the fish") of a time ("the measure of duration")' -- The Independent on Sunday 20050417 'Clever, wittily-written and amusingly-arranged' -- The Guardian 20050416 'A rich, lively and attractive book.' -- The Times Literary Supplement 20050415 'Hitchings writes with Johnsonian clarity and verve!the author is to be congratulated on narrating the drudgery of the Dictionary's compilation!so engagingly. This is a charming book' -- Evening Standard 20050418 'Hitchings's excellent book is both a great potted guide to the dictionary and its creation, and a marvellous biography of Johnson...A must-read for devotees of the English language' -- Tom Williams - Observer 20060416 'Full of elegance and nail-on-the-head wit' -- Sunday Telegraph 20060416 'Excellent ... Hitching's book is full of serendipitous felicities' -- David Nokes, Times Higher Educational Supplement 20060421 'In [Johnson's] description of "dull" he writes: "Not exhilarating; not delightful; as, to make dictionaries is dull work" -- Colin Waters, Sunday Herald 20060507 'Entertaining study ...The great strength of Hitching's book is the compliment he pays to Johnson by so lavishly quoting from the Dictionary' -- Sunday Telegraph 20060507 'A lively and appetite-whetting biography of the great book' -- Herald 20060507 'Henry Hitchings' book on Samuel Johnson's mighty Dictionary is so good, so apposite, so chewy and edible, that I felt as if I were rereading it on my first pass' -- WillSelf, New Statesman 20060507 'Hugely entertaining, it's a real treat for word lovers' -- Sainsburys Magazine 20060507 'Lively and entertaining' -- Observer 20060507 'The author is to be congratulated on narrating the drudgery of the dictionary's compilation so engagingly' -- Evening Standard 20060507 'Hitchings has written a lively and appetite-whetting biography of the great book itself...one of the most fascinating and influential literary endeavours in the history of English literature' -- Herald 20060507 'Henry Hitchings (a fine 18th-century name that) is a remarkable young scholar of the age of Johnson, and his DR JOHNSON'S DICTIONARY, arranged alphabetically like the eponymous original whose 250th anniversary it celebrates, offers an entertaining window on this most fascinating character and his times' -- BBC History Magazine 20060507 'An extraordinary read' -- Venue 20051202 'This is a delightful book about an extraordinary man. I suspect Dr Johnson himself would have approved... and there's no greater praise than that' -- John Humphrys 20051202 'Henry Hitchings's book is lively, erudite and enriched with colourful anecdotes - a masterful account of one of the greatest literary triumphs of the eighteenth century' -- Giles Milton 20041221 'Engaging' -- Literary Review 20050401

From the Publisher:

By 1700, France and Italy already had dictionaries of their own, and it became a matter of national pride that England should rival them. Dr Johnson rose to the challenge, turning over the garret of his London home to the creation of his Dictionary. He imagined it would take three years. Eight years later it was finally published, full of idiosyncrasies, but complete nevertheless. It would become the most important British cultural monument of the eighteenth century. This is the story of Johnson's attempt to define each and every word. In wonderfully engaging chapters, Hitchings describes Johnson's adventure -- his ambition and vision, his moments of despair, the mistakes he made along the way and his ultimate triumph.

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Hitchings, Henry
Editorial: John Murray Publishers Ltd (2005)
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Hitchings, Henry
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