James Boswell

1740 (Edinburgh) – 1795 (London)

Boswell attended Smith’s lectures in Glasgow, and discussed ‘The Wealth of Nations’ with him. In London, he met Sterne, was given a permanent invitation to breakfast by Garrick, and was with Reynolds and Franklin a member of the Turk’s Head Club (which he was only admitted to with the support of his hero and literary subject, Johnson; Goldsmith, who’d first met him in a bookshop, chaired the election). He met Voltaire and Rousseau on a trip to Europe, was mightily impressed by Boulton in Birmingham, and described Gibbon’s uncleanliness as “disgusting.” Hume described him as “very agreeable and very mad.”