A Critical Examination of Dr G. Birkbeck Hills "Johnsonian" Editions

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A Critical Examination of Dr G. Birkbeck Hill's "Johnsonian" Editions  (1898) 
by Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald


A Critical Examination
 of
Dr. G. Birkbeck Hill's

Johnsonian"
Editions



By Percy Fitzgerald, M.A., F.S.A

Author of "Life of James Boswell"
Editor of "Boswell's Johnson"

"He added that Dr Hill was, notwithstanding, a very curious observer; and if he would have been contented to tell the world no more than he knew, he might have been a very considerable man, and needed not to have recourse to such expedients to enhance his reputation"Johnson on Dr Hill.

A CRITICAL EXAMINATION

OF

Dr G. BIRKBECK HILL'S


"Johnsonian" Editions


ISSUED BY THE CLARENDON PRESS, OXFORD


By PERCY FITZGERALD, M.A., F.S.A.

Author of "Life of James Boswell"; Editor "Boswell's Johnson."



LONDON
BLISS, SANDS & CO.

12 BURLEIGH STREET, STRAND, W.C.
MDCCCXCVIII

PREFACE

Naturally I feel some hesitation in putting forward these strictures on Dr Birkbeck Hill's Editions: for has not Mr Leslie Stephen written of "The Life" that "The edition by Dr G. B. Hill is by far the best; the notes throughout are of the highest utility?" ("Dict. Nat. Biog.," vol. xxx. p. 46). And Mr Andrew Lang, has he not declared that, to the same editor we owe "The best edition of Bozzy—the most delightful of books—the best 'Collections of Johnsoniana?'" (Longman's Magazine, February 1898, p. 374). Yet how reconcile this eulogium with the incredible catalogue of mistakes, misapprehensions, wild flounderings, and speculations, which are here set forth? With such things present there cannot be "by far the best edition," or even a fairly good one. I do not profess to explain the discrepancy, but leave it to the reader to judge for himself.

February 1898.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1925, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.