The 218th anniversary of the death of James Boswell was commemorated by a small ceremony at the Boswell mausoleum in Auchinleck Churchyard in the morning of May 19, 2013. Speakers included Dr. Gordon Turnbull (general editor of the Yale Boswell editions), James Knox (chairman of the Boswell Trust) and Jim Todd (Provost of East Ayrshire).
250 years ago today a living legend walked into a small bookshop near Covent Garden. That legend was (Dr.) Samuel Johnson - lexicographer, author, literary critic, wit, etc. In the shop was a young Scotsman, who had for a long time hoped to meet the great Johnson. That young man was James Boswell, the 22 year old son af a Scottish judge, who had reluctantly allowed the young son to go to London for half a year, in the vain hope that he would get the big city and wild dreams of a career in the guards out of his system.
The long-awaited programme for the Boswell Book Festival 2013, which will take place May 17-19 in the grounds of Auchinleck House, has been released, and it looks amazing! Editor of the Yale Boswell papers, Gordon Turnbull, will return to Auchinleck, and on Saturday evening brilliant actor John Sessions will perform his brand new play A Life in Music. John will be back on the next day to end the festival with a portrayal of James Boswell himself.
I would like to take the opportunity to wish all you visitors to jamesboswell.info a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.
The third volume of the annotated Yale edition of the original Life of Johnson manuscript has recently been published and is now available worldwide. The long awaited volume has been edited by Prof. Thomas F. Bonnell who is also already working on the fourth and final volume in that particular sub-series of the Yale research editions.
I visited London in June 2012 and included 8 Russell Street, Covent Garden in my itinerary. As many visitors to this website will know, 8 Russell Street, built in 1759/60, was from the 1760s and until his death occupied by actor and bookseller Thomas Davies who on May 16, 1763, introduced James Boswell and Dr. Johnson to each other for the first time, in those very premises.
The programme for this years Boswell Book Festival has now been published. The festival will be held on May 11 - 13, 2012, and once again it willl take place mostly on the grounds of Auchinleck House. This year it is being accompanied by a number of satellite events, such as the "Boswell in the Square" fair in Cumnock, special tours of nearby Dumfries House, a lecture by Dr. Gordon Turnbull at the University of the West of Scotland and tastings of Grant's Whiskey.
It has been 180 years since Lord Macaulay published his damning description of James Boswell in his review of the Croker edition of the Life of Johnson. I am glad to observe, however, that public perception of Boswell has changed a good deal since then.
On October 29, 2011,on the 271st anniversary of James Boswell's birth, a memorial stone in his honour was revealed at Makars' Court in Edinburgh.
"We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed", reads one of the most oft-quoted passages from Boswell's Life of Johnson.