Today is National Biographer’s Day!
National Biographer’s Day commemorates the anniversary of the first meeting of Samuel Johnson and his biographer James Boswell in London, England on May 16, 1763, and honors all biographers.
A biography is a written account of another person’s life.
Famous poet, essayist, literary critic, editor and lexicographer, Johnson was also a biographer. According to Johnson, the best biographers were those who ate, drank and “lived in social intercourse” with those about whom they wrote. If that were true, his best biography would be An Account of the Life of Mr. Richard Savage, Son of the earl Rivers which was published in 1744.
Applying this same rule, Scots-born James Boswell met his friend Samuel Johnson at a bookshop near Covent Garden. Nearly 30 years later he published The Life of Johnson, which became the most celebrated English biography.
From one of my favorite shows, Blackadder. Dr. Samuel Johnson seeks the regent’s support for his dictionary, but when it is used for firewood, Edmund must rewrite it.