Happy with Sam

Last Thursday I interviewed Gretchen Rubin, the author of Happier at Home, a bestselling book which mentions Samuel Johnson in the subtitle. I had seen one of the epigraphs she uses in the book — “To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which all enterprise and labour […]

Sam Johnson: Rambler, Adventurer, Idler

Sam was all of these in person, but those are also the names of three separate periodicals/magazines that he contributed to in the 1750s, when he was mostly in his forties. Here are the basic facts about the extent of his writing for them, so that you can get a sense of perspective on his […]

The English Language and Sam’s Dictionary

Sam published his Dictionary of the English Language on April 15, 1755. It has been called the first dictionary of English (which is not true) or the first modern dictionary of English (which is closer to the truth). A couple of interesting facts about it: The full title is A Dictionary of the English Language, […]