An Immense Structure

SAMUEL JOHNSON — Joseph Wood Krutch—Henry Holt ($3.75).

When England's crusty, sagacious Samuel Johnson died in 1784, he left to posterity the first great English dictionary, a few volumes of poems, essays, literary biography, and a mass of table talk that was the makings of the world's most famous biography: Boswell's Life of Johnson.

"Today," writes his latest biographer, "there is probably no other English man of letters except Shakespeare whom so many people acknowledge as the chief interest of their lives." Johnson groups flourish as far...

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