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Samuel Johnson's Insults: A Compendium of Snubs, Sneers, Slights and Effronteries from the Eighteenth-Century Master

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0802714282
ISBN-10: 0802714285
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Editorial Reviews

Review

This masterly compendium of malicious wit reveals Dr. Johnson as a world-class curmudgeon, and that, Sir, is high praise indeed (Jon Winokur, author of The Portable Curmudgeon and The Traveling Curmudgeon)

About the Author

Jack Lynch, a Johnson scholar and professor of English at Rutgers University, is the editor of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary and the author of The Age of Elizabeth in the Age of Johnson.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802714285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802714282
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,324,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Allain on November 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you are at a loss for words when annoyed, read this. The insults are selected from Johnson's famous eighteenth century Dictionary of the English Language. Bet you never thought to call someone a jobbernowl or a moon-calf.

Actually this is great for anyone who likes reading historic romances and is curious about some words used by the characters. Example: "rakehel - a wild, worthless, dissolute, debauched, sorry fellow." The book contains over 300 of these insults.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Over three hundred of Samuel Johnson's nastier barbs and their meanings are gathered from his various writings under one cover to appeal to modern readers seeking new ways of insulting. Quotes are often accompanied not just by definitions but insights into the source of the barb or quip, revealing further insights into Samuel Johnson's works and life as well. Samuel Johnson's Insults: A Compendium of Snubs, Sneers, Slights and Effronteries from the Eighteenth-Century Master is highly entertaining and enthusiastically recommended reading.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is an amusing collection of the 'snubs, sneers, slights and effronteries' by the 'Great Cham'. Lynch arranges them in alphabetical order and adds his own interesting commentary on their origins. In writing for instance of 'backfriends' that is of friends who behind the back to others speak about their friend in ways not friendly at all. He tells us the story of Boswell's resentment of Hester Thrale whom Johnson gave more time with him, and his revenge on her by filling his 'Life of Johnson' with insulting remarks about her. These led her to say that if all friends are like Johnson one should have no friends at all.

This is an amusing work especially for those who love the study of Language and all its unending varieties and duplicities.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom Diaz on July 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting enough,I'll grant, as historical material. Much of this material has passed into the language long ago and now it's just dull cant. Another large portion is so obscure that anyone who tried to insult with its language would at best be embarrassed. Enjoy reading it, but don't expect to become a master of put down thereby.
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