Robert D. Spector
When Samuel Johnson is discussed as an essayist, his "Rambler" and "Idler" are generally the works that are considered. This study takes account of the effect of Johnson's essayistic talents on the entirety of his writing. Setting forth the particular characteristics of the genre that are present in Johnson's contributions to the political controversies of his time, this analysis examines those qualities of Johnson's thought and methods that naturally led to his dependence on the essay form in polemical engagements throughout his career. In detail, the book then goes on to explore the manner in which Johnson employed the essay not only in forms normally related to the genre, but in literary types ordinarily considered remote from it. "The Rambler" and "Idler", along with Johnson's periodical essays in the "Adventurer", are themselves looked at from a fresh point of view - the ways in which Johnson the professional writer, without regard for posterity, addressed the interests of the common reader of his century. Robert D.
Spector is the author of "Smollett's Women: A Study in Eighteenth-Century Masculine Sensibility", "Political Controversy: A Study in Eighteenth-Century Propaganda", ""Backgrounds to Restoration and Eighteenth-Century English Literature: An Annotated Bibliographical Guide to Modern Scholarship" and "The English Gothic: A Bibliographic Guide to Writers From Horace Walpole to Mary Shelley".