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Samuel Johnson: literature, religion and English cultural politics from the restoration to romanticism

Samuel Johnson: literature, religion and English cultural politics from the restoration to romanticism

Clark, J. C. D

This book offers an analysis of the life and thought of the writer Samuel Johnson from an historian's viewpoint, reversing the orthodoxy which has dominated the subject for over thirty years. Jonathan Clark, who has written extensively on English and American religion, ideology and politics in the eighteenth century, presents here a Johnson strikingly different from the apolitical, pragmatic and eccentric figure who emerges from the pages of most students of English literature. Johnson's commitments and conflicts in religion and politics, obscured since Macaulay, are reconstructed; his role in the literary dynamics of his age is revealed against a new context for English cultural politics between the Restoration and the age of Romanticism. This book will therefore be of interest not only to Johnsonians but to historians of ideas and students of English literature

Paperback, Book. English.
Published Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995
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Available: Newton Park

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Statement of responsibility: J.C.D. Clark
ISBN: 0521478855, 9780521478854
Intended audience: Specialized.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Note: Originally published: 1994.
Physical Description: xiv, 270 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Subject: Johnson, Samuel; Culture; Politics and culture Great Britain History 18th century.; Politics and literature Great Britain History 18th century.; Literature; Biography; Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784 Political and social views.; Church History; 18Th Century; Great Britain Politics and government 18th century.


  1. List of illustrations
  2. Preface
  3. Abbreviations
  4. Introduction
  5. 1. Politics, literature and the culture of humanism
  6. 2. Johnson and the Anglo-Latin tradition
  7. 3. The political culture of Oxford University, 1715-1768
  8. 4. Johnson's career and the question of oaths, 1709-1758
  9. 5. Johnson and the nonjurors
  10. 6. Johnson's political conduct, 1737-1760
  11. 7. Johnson's political opinions, 1760-1784
  12. 8. Johnson's writings, 1760-1781
  13. 9. 'Sophistry', 'indiscretion', 'falsehood': the denigration of Samuel Johnson, 1775-1832.


'This is a stimulating and cogent work which offers a refreshing and provocative re-appraisal of some central features of Johnson's life and work.' David Nokes, The Times Literary Supplement