Boswell's Presumptuous Task


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James Boswell died a disappointed man, considered by his contemporaries to be a "foolish failure". Yet today his "Life of Johnson" is esteemed as the template for modern biography and Boswell himself is regarded as a formidable, if somewhat anti-heroic intellect in his own right. Sisman provides not only an account of Boswell's life but a creative investigation into how Boswell managed to be simultaneously so risible and outstanding and, by extension, an investigation into the nature of biographers and biography. Making use ...

Boswell's Presumptuous Task 2001, Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, NY

ISBN-13: 9780374115616

American edition


Boswell's Presumptuous Task 2001, Penguin Books Ltd, London

ISBN-13: 9780140254211

New edition

Mass-market paperback

Boswell's Presumptuous Task 2000, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, London

ISBN-13: 9780241136379