Samuel Johnson

Dr. Johnson

1709 (Lichfield, England) – 1784 (London)

Garrick (Johnson’s former pupil and lifelong friend), Goldsmith (whom he helped when in trouble), Reynolds (his closest friend), Gibbon, Charles Burney (another close friend) and Sheridan were all members of his literary club. Johnson persuaded Smollett to intervene over his runaway servant, and had Boswell as his staunch disciple and biographer. He breakfasted with Blacklock (drinking 19 cups of tea), met Franklin and Boulton, astonished Hogarth, and took virulently against Smith (who still thought him the best-read man he’d met). Richardson published some of Johnson’s essays, befriended him, and lent him money to get him out of trouble.