Literature

Dr Johnson and the Great Anglo Tradition

I want to open by standing back to set the broad scene within which I think, from our perspective in the twenty-first century, Samuel Johnson should be placed and judged. We live in times in which a conceit prevails that the present is all that matters; that the past is dead and buried, and the future is beyond concern. To become unmindful of cultural and historical tradition is to risk misunderstanding who we are as a people, and what shapes our characteristic ways and inclinations, and our strengths and weaknesses. This foolish blinkering is illustrated by the fading of Dr…

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