What's On



Reading Circle

Past Exhibitions

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Sex, Scandal and Life Writing:
The Very Different Experiences of Dr Samuel Johnson, James Boswell and Irish Courtesan, Peg Plunkett

Thursday 27 October, 7pm (doors open at 6.15pm)

** SOLD OUT ** Apologies for any inconvenience caused

Historian Julie Peakman will explore the biographies, memoirs & autobiographical material of three very different 18th-century characters to reveal how their life experiences were skewed by gender.

The reasons why they wrote, the subject matter they wrote about, and the way they interpreted the Georgian world were all quite different, yet they overlapped in many ways, influenced by the morality around them.

The evening includes a complimentary glass of wine and the special opportunity to explore Dr Johnson's House after hours.

Tickets: £10 (includes a complimentary glass of wine)
Booking required

Julie Peakman is a historian in 18th-century culture and the history of sexuality. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Honorary Fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is a frequent contributor to journals, magazines and television documentaries for BBC, Channel 4 and the Biography Channel. Her previous books, Mighty Lewd Books: The Development of Pornography in Eighteenth-Century England (Palgrave, 2003) and Lascivious Bodies: A Sexual History of the Eighteenth-Century (Atlantic Books, 2004) were both critically acclaimed. Her most recent book, Peg Plunkett: Memoirs of a Whore, draws on Peg’s original memoirs and the author’s extensive research in Ireland to tell the extraordinary life of the Georgian era’s most famous courtesans.


Sex, Scandal and Life Writing

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Dr Johnson, America's 'Yelps for Liberty' and the Indian Origins of US Foreign Policy

Thursday 3 November, 7pm (doors open at 6.15pm)

Jonathan King, Von Hűgel Research Fellow at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, will talk about Johnson's attitude to America, slavery and Native Americans, and how the need to pay for the American revolution shaped the Treaty system with Indian Nations.

Tickets: £10 (includes a complimentary glass of wine)
Booking required
Jonathan King is a museum anthropologist interested in the history of ideas and institutions, and in collecting.  His recent publications include collaborative edited volumes about Turquoise (2012), Extreme Collecting (2012), Woodlands Art (2006) and Arctic Clothing (2005); Blood and Land: Ways of Seeing Native North America will be published in August 2016. While at the British Museum (1975-2012) he worked on the collections created by the Museum's founder, Sir Hans Sloane.


Taxation No Tyranny
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Free Tea at Three

Every Wednesday in January at 3pm

Drop in for a cuppa and help us to maintain the tea-party tradition in Johnson's historic parlour.

Dr Johnson is famed for his love of the hot liquid he claimed could 'amuse the idle, relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence.'

Tea is free after usual admission charge, no booking required


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Tales of Dr Johnson and Love

Valentines Day - 6pm and 7pm

A rare opportunity to experience the evening in Dr Johnson's beautiful Queen Anne townhouse as the giant of literature himself would have, by candlelight, in these special curator-led twilight tours. Treat yourself or someone special this Valentine’s Day and join the Curator to explore Johnson’s complex views on love, bringing to light his relations with ‘the fairer sex’. Hear more about Johnson’s love-life, his views on marriage and the ladies who made an impression on him, from the respectable to the scandalous, and the women whom he in turn influenced.

Tickets: £15 (includes a complimentary glass of wine)
Booking required

Choose your tour time
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 (except Jan.), 3pm

Next walk:

December 7

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

Events 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.

Please note the House contains unavoidable steps. For more information about access, please visit our Facilities page.

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