A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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History of Johnson’s Dictionary

General History

  • Excerpts from James Boswell's Life of Johnson (1791) (In Progress)
  • An Essay on The Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson. LL.D., by Arthur Murphy, Esq.

    The Dictionary's Plan and the Lord Chesterfield Incident

  • The Plan of a Dictionary of the English Language (1747)
  • Essays Appearing in The World (Written by Lord Chesterfield):
                » November the 28th, 1754
                » December the 5th, 1754
  • Johnson's Letter to Chesterfield (February 1755)

    Advertising and Promotions

  • Promotional Material from The Gentleman's Magazine (April 1755)


    from The Public Advertiser, Tuesday, April 15, 1755.

    Contemporaneous Reviews and Criticism

  • Review from The Monthly Review (April 1755)
  • Adam Smith's Review from Edinburgh Review (1755)
  • Satirical Letter by John Wilkes (1755)
  • Charles Richardson's "Critical Examination of Dr. Johnson's Dictionary" (Illustrations of English Philology, 1815) (In Progress)

    Other Materials

  • Poems about Johnson's Dictionary
  • Excerpt from William Prideaux Courtney's Bibliography of Johnson (1915) (In Progress)
  • Johnson's Dictionary in Literature

    For current histories of Johnson's Dictionary, consult the Recommended Reading list, or visit the Dictionary's Wikipedia page.


  • Cite this page: "History of Johnson’s Dictionary." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: April 23, 2013. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?page_id=3267.



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