Samuel Johnson and James Boswell spent the autumn of 1773 touring the Highlands and the Western Islands of Scotland. Both kept detailed notes of their impressions and later published separate accounts of their journey together. The account of their great tour is one of the finest pieces of travel writing ever produced: it is a historical document and also a portrait of two extraordinary personalities. The juxtaposition of the two very different accounts creates a portrait of a society which was utterly alien to the Europe of the Enlightenment, and straining on the brink of calamitous change. It is suitable as a key text for school and college courses in literary or social history studies. Samuel Johnson is the author of "A Dictionary of the English Language" and "The Lives of The English Poets". James Boswell is the author of "The Life of Samuel Johnson".
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) is perhaps best known for his A Dictionary of the English Language, and The Lives of the English Poets. He was an essayist and review-writer, and produced important records of parliamentary debates. Johnson was a critical and fascinating chronicler of his time. Journey to the Hebrides: A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland & The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides by Samuel Johnson and James Boswell was published by Canongate in 2001. James Boswell (1740 -1795) , the son of an Ayrshire judge, was also an essayist and a member of Johnson's Literary Club (others included Goldsmith and Adam Smith). This ambitious and volatile man was certainly an intriguing character and an important portraitist, but is widely recognised as the author of the vivid The Life of Samuel Johnson.