Entries by Wayne Jones

Nabokov, Shakespeare, and Johnson

I started reading Pale Fire the other day because I was finding that for whatever reason, the time I spent reading during any day was very little. Often nothing. Part of the issue may be that we are as a planet in the as-yet uncontrolled midst of a global pandemic, and that the country that […]

Sam and Greg and September

For the past ten years or so I have been involved in two writing projects. Both are biographies. One of course is the one I am writing about Samuel Johnson and to which most of the posts on this blog are dedicated. This September 18 marks the 311th anniversary of his birth. I have the […]

Eggs and Ideas

My tastes in literature and my opinions about it developed in a series of working class houses headed by my mother, a single mom who worked as a waitress and sometimes the bakery salesperson at Woolworth’s. She exercised absolutely no checks or restrictions on what I read. This doesn’t mean that I spent my time […]

Horology and the 18th Century

One of the people I’ve interviewed for my book is Robert St-Louis, who studies horology (clock- and watch-making) and has done extensive research on the 18th-century French watch-maker, André-Charles Caron, among other topics. These are short extracts from a wide-ranging telephone interview I did with Robert on October 17, 2019. Robert St-Louis developed an interest […]

Where I Am

As part of the effort to write this biography of Sam Johnson, I’ve used Twitter as a way to connect with people who have a wide variety knowledge of the 18th century. Not just people who study Johnson — in fact I think few of them are active Johnson scholars in the sense that they […]