Dr Johnson House

April 7, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Posted in General, London, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In a small secluded square near Fleet Street is a house from 1700 where Dr Samuel Johnson spent much of his life and wrote the first major English Dictionary between 1748 – 59.

Most of the house/museum is given over to a background of Samuel, his family and of course the development of the dictionary. While you might readily conclude that anyone who writes a dictionary might be a tad dull that’s not completely the case. I did find it interesting that he was often broke (except in his later years when he had a state pension) and the house reflects some of the security measures used to stop his creditors. Notably he was commissioned to finish the dictionary in 3 years but it ending up taking Samuel and his assistants 9 (published in 1755). The English establishment was still quite pleased with this as it took 40 academics from the French academy forty years to complete.

The upper floor is fairly sparse and recounts some of the stories from World War II when the building was used as a rest station for the auxiliary Fire Service – lucky as the building was hit by a bomb and the top floor destroyed.

This year also marks the 300th anniversary of Samuel Johnson’s birth and the museum website highlights some of the events.

As an aside the square also features a statue of Hodges the cat – one of the doctor’s companions.

The museum costs £4.50 (and there’s no Eftpos). The content of the museum is fine and if you’re willing to pay £4.50 then by all means make the trip. Otherwise unless you’re a linguist (or have an interest in that direction) you could probably pass by.

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: