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Johnson was a prolific writer and has been the subject of numerous studies. Below is a selection of resources and literature relating to his life and works. It is not a comprehensive list and contains a mixture of general and academic works and websites.

Editions of Johnson’s Works

The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, ed. J. Middendorf et al., 18 vols. to date (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1958 - 2019).

Johnson, S. A journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, ed. J. D. Fleeman
 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985).

Johnson, S. The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets: With Critical Observations on Their Work, ed. R. Lonsdale, 4 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).

Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary: Selections from the 1755 work that defined the English language, ed. J. Lynch (London: Atlantic Books, 2004).

Fleeman, D. A Bibliography of the Works of Samuel Johnson (2 vols, 2000).

Project Gutenberg has many of Johnson's texts online.

A scanned edition of Johnson's Dictionary is available at The Internet Archive.

Biographies of Johnson

Boswell, J. The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., ed. G. B. Hill, rev. L. F. Powell, 6 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934-64).

Piozzi, H. L. Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson, LL.D. during the Last Twenty Years of His Life (1786), ed. Arthur Sherbo (1974).

Hawkins, J. The Life of Samuel Johnson LL.D., ed. O M Brack, Jr. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2009).

Bate, W. J., Samuel Johnson (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977).

Clifford, James L., Dictionary Johnson (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979).

DeMaria, R, The Life of Samuel Johnson: A Critical Biography  (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993).

Wain, John, Samuel Johnson: A Biography (1976).

Meyers, J. Samuel Johnson: The Struggle (New York: Basic Books, 2008).

Nokes, D. Samuel Johnson: A Life (New York: Henry Holt, 2010).

Martin, P. Samuel Johnson: A Biography (London) L Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2008).

Wiltshire, J. Samuel Johnson in the Medical World: The Doctor and the Patient (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

Clark, J. C. D., Samuel Johnson: Literature, Religion and English Cultural Politics from the Restoration to Romanticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

The Dictionary

A complete searchable edition of The Dictionary, supported by the University of Central Florida, NEH and Center for Humanities and Digital Research (CHDR), is available here.

Reddick, A. The Making of Johnson’s Dictionary 1746-1773, rev. edn. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

Crystal, David, (ed.) Dr Johnson’s Dictionary (2005).

Hitchings, H. Dr Johnson’s Dictionary: The Extraordinary Story of the Book That Defined the World (2005).

Lynch, J. and A. McDermott (eds.), Anniversary Essays on Johnson’s “Dictionary” (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

DeMaria, R. Johnson’s Dictionary and the Language of Learning (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986).

Folkenflik, R. Samuel Johnson, Biographer (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1978).

Johnson's Circle

Boswell, J., London Journal 1762-1763, ed. Gordon Turnbull (London: Penguin Classics, 2010).

Holmes, R.  Dr Johnson and Mr Savage (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1993).

Chisholm, K., Wits and Wives: Dr Johnson in the Company of Women, (London: Chatto & Windus, 2011).


Collections of Essays and other materials

Piozzi, H. L. Thraliana: The Diary of Mrs Hester Lynch Thrale (Later Mrs Piozzi) ed. K. C. Balderston, 2nd edn., 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1951).

Lynch, J. (ed.), Samuel Johnson in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Lynch, J. A Bibliography of Johnsonian Studies, 1986-1998 (New York: A M S Press, 2000).

Rogers, P. The Samuel Johnson Encyclopedia (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996).

Clingham G., and P. Smallwood (eds.) Johnson after 300 Years (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Birkbeck Hill, G. (ed.), Johnsonian Miscellanies, 2 vols, (1897: reprinted 1966).

Wiltshire, J. The Making of Dr Johnson: Icon of Modern Culture, (Hastings: Helm Information, 2009).


The Age of Johnson (ed. Jack Lynch) AMS Press Inc., (1987-ongoing)     

The New Rambler, Journal of the Johnson Society of LondonDetails can be found here.


Samuel Johnson Dictionary Sources (sponsored and designed by Brian Grimes)

Johnson's Dictionary Online

The Samuel Johnson Sound Bite (edited by Frank Lynch)

Eighteenth-Century Resouces (edited by Jack Lynch)

The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum

The Boswell Book Festival and Boswell Trust

St Werburgh's Church, Derby

James Boswell Information Site

The Johnson Society of London

The Johnson Society of Lichfield

The Johnson Society of Australia

The Thrale family website

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