All the Sweets of Being: A Life of James Boswell
Mainstream Publishing, 1995 - 238 páginas
In this rich and witty new biography of the talented and adventurous son of a landed Ayrshire family, Roger Hutchinson separates the truth from the myth. All the Sweets of Being shows James Boswell in the circumstances and the places which formed him: in the hectic, confused world of Edinburgh society in the years following the Union of Parliaments and the Jacobite Uprising of 1745; in the flesh-pots and salons of London, the infant capital of empire and the most exciting city on earth; and on the most extraordinary Grand Tour ever undertaken by a young Briton, from tedious Utrecht to sinful Italy and the wild, tumultuous revolutionary wars of the island of Corsica. Boswell is shown as a friend and confidant of most of the significant figures of his time. We see him gate-crashing the reluctant Rousseau and the malicious Voltaire in Switzerland; we find him being cultivated by the ageing Samuel Johnson; and we watch him become a life-long friend of one of the most impressive statesmen of the Enlightenment, Pasquale Paoli. Other figures slip exuberantly on and off this busy stage: the half-mad George III; the mischievous political exile John Wilkes; the controversial James Macpherson; David Garrick, Flora Macdonald, Edmund Burke, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Horace Walpole, David Hume, and - always in the background like an Old Testament prophet - his own sharp-tongued, exasperated father, the Edinburgh judge Lord Auchinleck. All the Sweets of Being is an account of high life, low life, political life and literary life in one of the most dazzling epochs of European history - and of the man who, more than anybody else, enjoyed and portrayed without prejudice his time, his people, and his ownfantastical career.
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