Joseph Johnson

1738 (Liverpool, England) – 1809 (London)

The modest Johnson brought exceptional people together, particularly through his weekly dinners. Fuseli was his closest friend, Priestley perhaps his most significant. Wollstonecraft, Godwin and Darwin were all close to him. He employed Blake as an engraver, nurtured Wollstonecraft as a writer, helped bail Paine out of prison, and often published without hope of profit. When his shop burned down, his lodger Fuseli lost all his possessions; when Coleridge went to Germany, he left all his books with him. Among others he knew and published were Franklin, Wordsworth, Beddoes, Forster, Hunter, Young, Smith, Malthus and Nicholson.