We were inspired to look more closely at some of the key figures that appear in our Little History books by an interaction with a reader on the Little History facebook page. We really liked the idea of finding out what the series has to say about all sorts of ‘remarkable people’, both heroes and villains, and we’re putting together this resource for you to explore. Whether you’re looking for help with your homework (!), or trying to fill a gap in your knowledge, Little History books and their cast of characters have plenty to offer.
English writer, poet, moralist, editor, and literary critic
1709 – 1784
Samuel Johnson was an English poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, and lexicographer. His education began at the age of three when his mother began to have him recite passages from the Book of Common Prayer (1549). After attending university at Oxford for over a year, Johnson was forced to leave school because of his family’s financial hardships. He then began his career as a teacher, eventually turning to writing and literary criticism as more enjoyable occupations. Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language (1755) is considered to be one of the most important and influential dictionaries of the English language and took him over nine years to complete.
In A Little History of Literature, Sutherland introduces great classics in his own irresistible way, enlivening his offerings with humour as well as learning: Beowulf, Shakespeare, Don Quixote, the Romantics, Dickens, Moby Dick, The Waste Land, Woolf, …
Language forms a part of everything we do, even when there are no words. It is the means by which we think about, understand and share in the world. A Little Book of Language, taking in much, much more than the history of language, whisks us from a bab …