Boswell's London Journal Analysis


(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Boswell, James. The Heart of Boswell: Six Journals in One Volume. Edited by Mark Harris. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1981. A compendium of Boswell’s writings, along with various reviews, essays, and analysis that appeared in response to the 1950 publication of Frederick Albert Pottle’s comprehensive edition of the London journal.

Finlayson, Iain. The Moth and the Candle: A Life of James Boswell. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1984. Exactingly researched, this illustrated volume draws on the letters between Boswell and his contemporaries and serves as an insightful factual counterpoint to Boswell’s journal.

Ingram, Allan. Boswell’s Creative Gloom: A Study of Imagery and Melancholy in the Writings of James Boswell. London: Macmillan, 1982. Combines literary criticism and psychoanalytic interpretation, exploring the process of thought and the method of creative expression employed by Boswell in his journal.

Pottle, Frederick Albert. Pride and Negligence: The History of the Boswell Papers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982. Considered to be the most authentic account published of the loss, reacquisition, and publication of the missing Boswell papers. Informative on the factual accuracy of the London journal.

Wimsatt, William K., Jr. “James Boswell: The Man and the Journal.” Yale Review 49, no. 1 (September, 1959): 80-92. Discusses Boswell’s autobiographical technique, his skills as a diarist from a literary perspective, and the distinction between the author as a society man and the image he portrays of himself in the London journal.