James Boswell

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James Boswell
James Boswell of Auchinleck.jpg
Sir Joshua Reynolds
Portrait of James Boswell
1785
Born29 October 1740(1740-10-29)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Dee'd19 Mey 1795(1795-05-19) (aged 54)
Lunnon, Ingland
Thriftadvocate, diarist, biographer
LeidInglis
NaitionalityScots
CeetizenshipGreat Britain
Alma materVarsity o Edinburgh
Varsity o Glesga
Utrecht Varsity
Notable warksLife of Johnson
SpooseMargaret Montgomerie
BairnsAlexander Boswell (1775–1822)
James Boswell (1778–1822)
Veronica (1773–1795)
Euphemia (1774 – c. 1834)
Elizabeth (1780–1814)
Charles Boswell
(extramarital) (1762–1764)
Sally (extramarital) (1767–1768?)

James Boswell, 9t Laird o Auchinleck (/ˈbɒzˌwɛl, -wəl/; 29 October 1740 – 19 Mey 1795), wis a Scots biographer, diarist an advocate, born in Edinburgh. He is best kent for the biography he wrat anent ane o his guid friends an maiks o lang syne, the Inglis literar figur Samuel Johnson, that is said, for common, tae be the greatest biography written in the Inglis leid.[1][2] A guid wheen o Boswell's unfurthset diaries, letters, an ither quairs war fand an hained atween the 1920s an 1950s. Yale University are furthsettin thir warks pairt bi pairt--garrin Boswell mair an mair kenspeckle whiles we stert tae ken mair anent him.[3]

Early life[eedit | eedit soorce]

Boswell wis born in Edinburgh on 29t October 1740 tae Alexander Boswell, Laird Auchinleck, an Euphemia Erskine.[4] His faither wis an advocate whan James wis born but wad be made a Lord o Session in 1748 an syne Lord Justiciary in 1755.[5]

Frae age 13 tae 18, Boswell wis at the Varsity o Edinburgh tae lear Scots law. At age 19, his faither gart him awa tae the Varsity of Glesca whaur he lugged in tae lectures frae Adam Smith. In Glesca, he taen a mynt tae become a Catholic monk an gie up the law. Whan his faither wis telt o this, he ettlelt at keppin James frae it, an James flew tae Lunnon tae live a prodigal life. His faither went an brocht him back tae Scotland 3 month later an gart him back in the Varsity at Edinburgh. While in Edinburgh, Boswell keppit wi mony muckle literar figurs that are nou thocht o kenmarks o the Scots Enlightenment sic as William Robertson, Henry Home, Hugh Blair, an Lord Hailes.[6] ,In July 1762, Boswell wis examined in Scots Law and wan his degree frae Edinburgh. Acause o that, his faither lat him gae awa back tae Lunnon tae get wark. It wis on 16t May 1763 in a beukshop in Covent Gairden that Boswell wad first kep wi his lifelang friend Samuel Johnson.[6]

Stravaigin about Europe[eedit | eedit soorce]

In the simmer o 1763, Boswell's faither gart him awa tae Utrecht an mak forrit in his learin o Law. Boswell wisna taen wi the idea, but his faither gien him £240 a year for a pension.[7] Boswell coudna thole the wecht o his studies at Utrecht an sae went aff stravaigin around the Netherlands an ither pairts o Europe.[7]. Boswell left Utrecht in the hairst o 1764 an went tae kep wi sicna fowk as Voltaire an ithers.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Root, Douglas (2014). "Two "Most Un-Clubbable Men": Samuel Johnson, Benjamin Franklin, and Their Social Circles". In Baird, Ileana (ed.). Social Networks in the Long Eighteenth Century: Clubs, Literary Salons, Textual Coteries. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. p. 256. ISBN 1443866784. Retrieved 30 Julie 2017.
  2. Rollyson, Carl, ed. (2005). British Biography: A Reader. New York: iUniverse. p. 77. ISBN 0595364098. Retrieved 30 Julie 2017.
  3. "The Project | Yale Boswell Editions". boswelleditions.yale.edu.
  4. "James Boswell (1740-1795) | A brief biography". www.jamesboswell.info. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  5. "Alexander Boswell - Lord Auchinleck | James Boswell .info". www.jamesboswell.info. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  6. a b Chisholm, Hugh (1911). The Encyclopaedia Britannica : a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information. New York : Encyclopaedia Britannica. p. 296.
  7. a b Lowry, Walker (Apryle 1950). "James Boswell, Scots Advocate and English Barrister, 1740-1795". Stanford Law Review. 2 (3): 471. doi:10.2307/1225940.