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Archive for August 19th, 2009

One longs to say something

I’ve mentioned before our substantial collection of books annotated by Johnson’s friend and biographer Hester Thrale Piozzi. I’m tremendously pleased that Harvard’s Open Collections Program will be digitizing a number of volumes from that collection as part of a project on readers and evidence of their reading. The collection is still in development, but the first of Mrs. Piozzi’s books to be digitized (and also one of the most interesting) is now available.

Hester Piozzi and James Boswell were rivals for Johnson’s attention during his life, and for his legacy after his death, so it’s particularly interesting to read her often combative annotations to Boswell’s Life of Johnson. All four volumes have been digitized in high resolution from cover to cover, and I hope they’ll be of great use to scholars and students around the world.

Vol. 1
Vol. 2
Vol. 3
Vol. 4

Of course, if you’d like to visit this set in person, don’t forget that you can do so in my exhibition A Monument More Durable Than Brass: The Donald & Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson, opening August 26th.

Published in:John Overholt |on August 19th, 2009 |Comments Off on One longs to say something