In August and September of 1773
Johnson and Boswell, two brilliantly talented writers, took a trip through
Scotland. Being of a literary disposition,
they kept journals. They ruminate on the social structure of their day, the
people, and the political. Johnson was
attracted to the wild areas of Scotland, the places where nature’s beauty was
on full display.
Two of the eighteenth century's preeminent writers spent the autumn of 1773 touring Scotland together. Being literary gentlemen, they took extensive notes. Five years away from producing his famous dictionary, Samuel Johnson hoped to encounter romantic wilderness scenes by "going where nobody goes and seeing what nobody sees." James Boswell, Johnson's biographer, reveled in the opportunity to visit his native country in the company of his mentor. Their respective accounts of their sojourn offer not only a taste of travel writing at its finest but also fascinating insights into a celebrated literary friendship.
At the time of their trip, Johnson was 63, Boswell was 32, and the two had known each other for over a decade. The Scotland they explored on their 83-day journeya rugged territory held down by a string of fortswas largely unknown to Europeans. The authors' perceptive observations on the land and its people represent a valuable historical record of a vanished time and place as well as an engaging armchair adventure.