- 5,733 ratings
- January 11th 1993
by Everyman's Library
(first published 1790)
- Date of birth: October 29, 1740
- Died: May 19, 1795
- Born: in Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Description: James Boswell, 10th Laird of Auchinleck and 1st Baronet was a lawyer, diarist, and author born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was the eldest son of a judge, Alexander Boswell, 8th Laird of Auchinleck and his wife Euphemia Erskine, Lady Auchinleck. Boswell's mother was a strict Calvinist, and he felt that his father was cold to him. Boswell, who is best known as Samuel Johnson’s biographer, inherited his father’s estate Auchinleck in Ayrshire. His name has passed into the English language as a term (Boswell, Boswellian, Boswellism) for a constant companion and observer.
Boswell is also known for the detailed and frank journals that he wrote for long periods of his life, which remained undiscovered until the 1920s. These included voluminous notes on the grand tour of Europe that he took as a young nobleman and, subsequently, of his tour of Scotland with Johnson. His journals also record meetings and conversations with eminent individuals belonging to The Club, including Lord Monboddo, David Garrick, Edmund Burke, Joshua Reynolds and Oliver Goldsmith. His written works focus chiefly on others, but he was admitted as a good companion and accomplished conversationalist in his own right.