The State Of Common Life

In 1773 Samuel Johnson and his friend James Boswell made a journey through some of the more remote parts of Scotland.  Each of them wrote his own account of the journey, and I am currently absorbed in reading Johnson’s impressions in his Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland.  As always, he stimulates and fascinates:  his eye for detail is superb, and like the best of writers he combines wit, dry observation, and philosophic pronouncements.

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