Welcome to the Johnson Society of Australia
Fascinating lecture from Barry Jones Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 19:42

Australian “living treasure” Dr Barry Jones attracted one of our largest audiences yet for a Fleeman Lecture, with many guests as well as members turning up in force for the 2009 lecture, following the Annual General Meeting on October 3.

Barry, who prefaced his lecture, entitled Samuel Johnson and his Great Contemporaries, with a caution that he did not regard himself as a Johnson specialist, nonetheless gave his audience some fascinating insights into Johnson’s opinions and attitudes towards such contemporaries as Laurence Sterne, Edward Gibbon and Jonathan Swift.

He paid powerful tribute to Johnson’s contribution towards shaping and defining what became modern English and to his personality which led to what Barry called “the greatest biography in the language.”

The lecture will be published in a forthcoming issue of the JSA Papers.

Renew your membership sub. by PayPal Print E-mail
Written by Sam Reid   
Monday, 23 November 2009 20:25

Membership subscriptions for the Johnson Society of Australia can now be renewed through the PayPal online payment system.

This will be particularly useful for overseas members, but it will also make it quicker and more convenient for all members to get their subscriptions in on time.

New work by John Wiltshire launched Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 21 September 2009 23:56

The Making of Dr Johnson, the latest book by JSA President John Wiltshire, officially launched by John Byrne at the 2009 seminar, traces the development of the public image of Samuel Johnson since the publication of Boswell’s Life.

The book shows there was much more to Johnson than is revealed by Boswell, who simply did not know much about important stages of Johnson’s life, and who also tended to gloss over, or hide, some aspects which did not accord with his virtual canonisation of  his subject.

John Wiltshire draws proper attention to other 18th Century biographies and memoirs of Johnson, notably those of Sir John Hawkins and Mrs Thrale, which draw a much different picture of Johnson’s character and behaviour.  In addition, due weight is given to contemporary criticism of his work, his literary style, and his aggressive argumentation.

Dr Barry Jones to give 2009 Fleeman Lecture Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 21 September 2009 23:58

Dr Barry Jones, one of Australia’s “living treasures” will deliver the JSA’s 2009 David Fleeman Memorial Lecture after the Annual General Meeting at the English Speaking Union on Saturday, October 3, which starts at 2.30 pm.

His lecture is entitled Samuel Johnson and his Great Contemporaries.

The Tercentenary Seminar Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 21 September 2009 23:54

An appreciative audience enjoyed the new program format for the Johnson Tercentenary Seminar and Dinner on July 25.

A reading by Bronwen Hickman from Fanny Burney’s diaries separated two excellent papers by Barrie Sheppard and Geoff Brand, which provided different, but resonating, insights into 18th Century concepts of nature, the problem of evil, based on Soames Jenyns’ letters on the Origin of Evil, and the idea of nature’s productions forming a “Great Chain of Being”.

John Wiltshire’s paper, The Afterlife of Dr Johnson, was a fitting prelude to John Byrne’s official launching of our President’s  latest work, The Making of Dr Johnson.

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