What's On



Past Exhibitions


Dr Johnson and Edmund Burke

Wednesday 15 October, 7.30pm (doors open 6.30pm)

A talk by Jesse Norman MP

This October, Jesse Norman MP introduces us to Edmund Burke, the Irish philosopher-statesman so admired by Johnson. He explores his life and thought, and explains why we cannot understand modern politics without him.

"You could not stand five minutes with that man beneath a shed while it rained, but you must be convinced you had been standing with the greatest man you had ever yet seen." Johnson on Burke

Jesse Norman is the author of Edmund Burke: The Visionary who Invented Modern Politics, which was longlisted for the Orwell Prize and the Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction.

Tickets £10, includes a glass of wine

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A literary party at Sir Joshua Reynolds, with Johnson, Garrick, Burke, Burney, Boswell, Goldsmith, Paoli and Wharton

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Soldier Poets of the First World War
A talk by Dr Jean Moorcroft Wilson

Thursday 6 November, 6.30pm (doors open at 6.15pm)

This talk will look at the lives and work of the poet-soldiers of the First World War, approaching the subject chronologically, the great dividing line being the Somme battles, from 1916 to 1917.  This theatre of war separates what one might call the first generation of war poets -- Rupert Brooke and Charles Hamilton Sorley among them -- from the second, which includes such great names as Siegfried Sassoon, Edward Thomas, Isaac Rosenberg and Wilfred Owen.

The First World War was a milestone in English history and also in literature. Unlike the wars that preceded it, this was a total war, in which not only soldiers but civilians were affected. It is notable, however, that the most powerful literature to emerge from the war was written by combatants. Their heightened experience in war appears to have stimulated new intensities of imagination.

Tickets: £10 / £8 concs, includes a glass of wine

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Dr Jean Moorcroft Wilson has lectured for many years at the University of London. She is the author of acclaimed biographies of Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg and Charles Hamilton Sorley and has also edited the poems of Isaac Rosenberg and the poems and letters of Sorley. Her single-volume life of Sassoon, containing new material, was published by Duckworth in 2013 and her full-length biography of Edward Thomas will be published by Bloomsbury in 2014. She is married to the nephew of Virginia Woolf, on whom she has also written a widely-praised biography of place.

Dr Jean Moorcroft Wilson
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Collecting the Works of Samuel Johnson: the first 250 years
A talk by Prof Robert DeMaria, Jr.

Wednesday 19 November, 7pm (doors open at 6.15pm)

James Boswell, Tom Davies and even Johnson himself made some effort to collect Johnson's works in his lifetime, but it was Sir John Hawkins who compiled the first real edition of his works in 1785, the year after Johnson's death.  All collected editions after Hawkins' followed him, with various additions and subtractions, until the Yale Edition.  Conceived in 1951 and finally organized in 1955, the Yale Edition published its first volume in 1958 to great acclaim. 21 volumes are now in print, one in press, and one under way, but even this edition is not complete.  In addition, the digital version of the Yale Edition was launched in June of this year, showing the way to the future of Johnsonian editions.  Professor DeMaria, the third general editor of the Yale Edition, will discuss the history of Johnsonian editions, especially the Yale editions, and talk about the future of scholarly editions generally. 

Tickets: £10 / £8 concs, includes a glass of wine.

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Robert DeMaria, Jr. is the Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English at Vassar College. His studies focus on His eighteenth-century British Literature and, in particular, Samuel Johnson,  publishing several books on his life and works: Samuel Johnson and the Life of Reading,The Life of Samuel Johnson, and Johnson's Dictionary and the Language of Learning. DeMaria is the General Editor and Chair of the Editorial Board of the The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson. In 2002 he became the editor of the Johnsonian News Letter and publishes two issues a year. DeMaria has lectured widely in the United States and the UK, as well as in Europe.

Revising for the second edition after Rowlandson


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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:
November 5
December 3

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.

City of London Guides logo End of section

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

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