Doctor Johnson’s Masterpiece

Heavy "Science & Study" Bookends by Bradley & Hubbard (LEO Design)

On this day in 1755, Englishman Samuel Johnson published Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language—amongst the great achievements of British scholarship.

“Doctor Johnson,” as he was called, had been commissioned by a group of London booksellers to produce a definitive English dictionary—so unsatisfying were the existing options.  He claimed the task would take him three years.  For the next nine years, Johnson worked single-handedly on the project—with only the help of a clerk.

The dictionary was received with great acclaim and remained the pre-eminent English dictionary for the next 170+ years—after which The Oxford English Dictionary was published.

The bookends above—”Science & Study”—illustrate the necessary determination and persistence of scholars.  Let them brace your dictionary (Johnson’s or otherwise).