In this absorbing account of Johnson's private life, his work, pleasures and pronouncements, Christopher Hibbert has drawn upon every known contemporary source. We are given intimate glimpses of Johnson at every stage of his fascinating career- from the already highly eccentric schoolboy in Lichfield to the poor, truculent Oxford undergraduate; from the young husband of a florid widow, 20 years his senior to Grub Street hack; and finally, the near legendary figure, living in a substantial house off Fleet Street and presiding over a court of admirers and a perpetual stream of visitors. 'An excellent and entirely original study'. SUNDAY TIMES 'Endlessly facinating. . . . a wholly delightful and rewarding book'. SPECTATOR
Christopher Hibbert was born in 1924 and educated at Radley and Oriel College, Oxford. He served as an infantry officer during the war, was twice wounded and was awarded the MC in 1945. Described as in the New Statesman as 'a pearl of biographers', he is, in the words of the Times Literary Supplement, 'perhaps the most gifted popular historian we have. His much acclaimed books include The Destruction of Lord Raglan (which won the Heinemann Award for Literature in 1962); Benito Mussolini; Garibaldi and his Enemies; London- The Biography of a City; The English; A Social History, 1066-1945; Nelson- A Personal History; and Wellington- A Personal History. Chrisopher Hibbert is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Literature and an honorary Doctor of Letters of Leicester University. He was elected President of the Johnson Society in 1980. He is married with two sons and a daughter, and lives in Henley-on-Thames.