Johnson And Boswell: The Story Of Their Lives
Hesketh Pearsons biography is the first to combine the story of the two men whose lives were inseparable in the history of literature. The book starts with Samuel Johnsons career up to the moment he met Boswell, then we follow James Boswells until he met Johnson, and took him on a journey to the Hebrides. From this point their lives mingled. Pearson has included reliable contemporary accounts of Johnson, such as Fanny Burneys, and has skilfully made sense of Boswells own writings to form a clearer picture of the man of letters.
Author biography:Hesketh Pearson Born in 1887 at Hawford, Worcesterhire, Hesketh Pearson was educated at Bedford Grammar School, then worked in a shipping Office and spent two years in America before beginning a career as an actor in 1911. Until 1931 he worked successfully in the theatre, which provided many insights for his subsequent writing career. Pearsons early works included Modern Men and Mummers which consisted of sketches of well-known figures in the theatre, and also short stories in Iron Rations. Doctor Darwin, a biography of Darwin which was published in 1930, was widely acclaimed and established him as one of the leading popular biographers of his day. Subsequently he concentrated on his writing full-time.
However, for a period of some seven years he was in the doldrums, following an unsuccessful attempt to get the title Whispering Gallery published. He nonetheless persisted, and subsequently had published several important biographies of major figures, such as Conan Doyle, Gilbert and Sullivan and George Bernard Shaw. His skill and expertise was widely recognised, such that for example he was able to gain the co-operation of Shaw, who both contributed and later wrote a critique of his biography, and the executors of Conan Doyles estate who gave Pearson unprecedented access to private papers.
Pearson was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He died in 1964. His biographies have stood the test of time and are still regarded as definitive works on their subjects.