What's On



Past Exhibitions


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A tour of the House by candlelight
Friday, May 16th (7.30 or 8.30pm)

Dr Johnson House is proud to be part of the nationwide event Museums at Night 2014.

Come and experience the House as dusk decends in the candlelit surroundings of Johnson's former home and study. Join our curators on a tour focusing on Johnson's domestic life, his several and often fractious housemates and the anguish he experienced in the long hours of the dark night.

To Book:

1st tour:7:30pm
2nd tour: 8:15pm
Tickets: £10/£8 concessions

Tours last approximately 45mins. Please indicate when booking which tour you would like to join.


'"Cunning differs from wisdom as TWILIGHT from open day. He that walks in the sunshine goes boldly forward by the nearest way; he sees that where the path is straight and even he may proceed in security, and where it is rough anc crooked he easily complies with the turns, and avoids the obstructions. But the traveller in the dusk fears more as he sees less; he knows there may be danger, and therefore suspects that he is never safe, tries every step before he fixes his foot, and shrinks at every noise lest violence should approach him."

Johnson: Idler No. 92 (January 19, 1760)

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A presentation by Colin Pinney
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 7pm (doors open 6.15pm)

Join us to learn more about a much-quoted source of illustrative quotations in Johnson's great Dictionary and the man who inspired Johnson with his list of the authors whom he, Alexander Pope, had recommended that a lexicographer consult when compiling a new dictionary.

This presentation follows the life of 'The Little Nightingale', as Sir Joshua Reynolds named him affectionately, from his childhood in Windsor Forest to the coffee-houses of eighteenth century London; a visual portrait of the age of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Gay’s Beggars’ Opera.

Pope's eventful life is illuminated by his verse, from his childhood near Windsor Forest to his acclaimed presentation of Rape of the Lock (for which he received £6). There follows the story of his relationships with Lady Mary Wortley, the Blount Sisters and even the mistress of George II. His struggles with Homer and with Shakespeare continue the story as he moves to his beloved house at Twickenham, where he built his famous grotto and where he had discussions about Gulliver's travels with their author Swift, and concludes with a stunning sequence of images to accompany his Essay on Man.

To Book:

Tickets: £7.50

Includes the talk and a glass of wine in our Withdrawing Room afterwards.

COLIN PINNEY has taken roles in Shakespeare, Shaw and Aldwych farce and has directed plays both here and in America. He has been a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company and his television appearances include Jeeves And Wooster, The Brittas Empire and The Bill.He was co-author of the English version of Mazeppa, presented at the London Coliseum.

He founded Marchurst Productions , creating shows which brought to life characters of History Literature and Romance. These have been given at venues in America, including Harvard, and in London at the National Portrait Gallery. Other venues have included Batemans, Kipling’s House in Sussex.

Besides Alexander Pope, his other presentations include The Ancient Mariner, Pilgrim’s Progress, and Alice In Wonderland, while his one-man stage productions include Patrick, Father of the Brontes, Dylan Thomas, Samuel Pepys and Rudyard Kipling.

Alexander Pope image
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Every Wednesday throughout June, 6-8pm

Enjoy a cool summer evening exploring the four floors of Dr Johnson's historic eighteenth-century house with a free glass of sparkling wine for every visitor!

Take advantage of the opportunity to visit us after hours. Drop in and experience a balmy summer's eve in our historic interiors and visit our displays exploring Johnson, his works and his legacy and chat to our curators.

To Book:
No booking necessary, just pop in!

"The difficulty of confuting this assertion, arises merely from its generality and comprehension; to overthrow it by a detail of distinct facts, requires a wider survey of the world than human eyes can take; the progress of reformation is gradual and silent, as the extension of evening shadows; we know that they were short at noon, and are long at sunset, but our senses were not able to discern their increase: we know of every civil nation, that it was once savage"

Adventurer No. 137 February 26 (1754)

The House at Twilight
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Follow in Johnson's footsteps and explore the courts and alleys off Fleet Street with an experienced City Guide.

1st Wednesday of each month, 3pm
Next walks:

May 7
June 4
July 2

Groups may also book walks at alternative times. For any enquiries please contact us.

Dr Johnson's Fleet Street - Discover Johnson's life and work in and around Fleet Street and his acquaintances in the area.
Dr Johnson's City - Explore the Fleet Valley, Ludgate Hill and St Paul's Churchyard areas as Johnson knew them.

£5/£4 concessions. No booking required. Meet outside Dr Johnson's House.

This is a joint venture between Dr Johnson's House and the City Guides.

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Johnson and Boswell 'Walking down the High Street' by Rowlandon

Payment information

Most events sell out and tickets must be bought in advance. Card payments are processed by PayPal. We regret that we are unable to take card payments over the phone.

Customers wishing to pay by cheque should send a cheque payable to 'Dr Johnson's House Trust Ltd' to Dr Johnson's House, 17 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE. Please include your contact details. We will let you know when your cheque arrives.

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