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Mystery of Johnson’s Summer House Print E-mail
Written by Barry Sheppard   
Monday, 28 November 2005 01:39

When I was in London in 1984, I spotted the “Johnson Summer House” in the garden of Kenwood House on the edge of Hampstead Heath. It had been a favourite resting and contemplating place of Johnson’s during his visits to the Thrales at Streatham Park. Found, almost derelict in a suburban back garden in the early 1960s, it was restored and presented to the London County Council, and then placed in the Kenwood grounds.


On our recent visit, I looked for it, in vain. Attendants at Kenwood were vague about its fate. One told me she thought it may have been destroyed by fire; another thought it may have been damaged beyond repair during a storm in 1987. I rang the curator of Kenwood many times, but could never catch her in her office. Does any JSA member know its fate?

Fleeman Lecture illuminated by Beckett reading Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 28 November 2005 01:36

A fascinating account of the influence of Samuel Johnson on the great Irish playwright Samuel Beckett captured an attentive audience for the 2005 Fleeman Lecture on September 17, delivered by Professor Chris Ackerley, of the University of Otago, New Zealand.

Obituary: Harold Attwood (1928-2005) Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 08 August 2005 02:28

A tribute on behalf of the JSA

by Bronwen Hickman

Members were saddened to hear of the death on June 8 of Harold Attwood, a long-time member of the Johnson Society of Australia. Harold was a gentle, softly-spoken Scot, an eminent medical man with a love of literature. As custodian of the Medical History Museum at Melbourne University, he gave a lecture to the Society ten years ago on Johnson’s lung, explaining why the medical textbook illustration long thought to have been Johnson’s lung could not have been so, and why!

"Inviting package" on the Dictionary Print E-mail
Written by John Wiltshire   
Monday, 08 August 2005 02:39

Henry Hitchings,  Dr Johnson’s Dictionary; The Extraordinary Story of the Book that Defined the World London: John Murray, 2005, 278 pp., $44.95, ISBN 0 7195 6631 2

One of the most attractive commemorations of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language is this book, a scholarly study of the Dictionary brilliantly packaged as an inviting volume for casual reading. Organised as a series of little essays, each headed by a word and a definition from the Dictionary, it takes you through Johnson’s life at the same time as it takes you through the alphabet.

2005 Seminar voted an outstanding success Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 08 August 2005 02:21

The JSA well and truly celebrated the 250th anniversary of Johnson’s Dictionary at the Annual Seminar and Dinner on May 28.

Nick Hudson raised some interesting questions about the payment Johnson received from his bookseller publishers, and concluded that by modern monetary standards, he was well rewarded, but his personal “take” was considerable reduced by his suppor tfor the numerous dependants who lived with him at Gough Square and for his impoverished amanuenses.

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