All That Life Can Afford: A Ramble through Dr Johnson’s London
By seeing London,” wrote Samuel Johnson, “I have seen as much of life as the world can shew.” The great man of letters arrived in London in 1737, with no money and just two minor translations to his name. Twenty years later he was the toast of the city, a literary giant, famous for lucid essays, sparkling repartee and his monumental dictionary. Join this stroll through Georgian London in the footsteps of Johnson and his cat Hodge to discover how the teeming, vivid city inspired ‘The Idler’, a weekly column which appeared in an eighteenth-century journal between 1758 and 1760, and Johnson’s other literary creations. The price of the tour includes entry to Dr Johnson’s House on Gough Square. “Sir,” he exclaimed, “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
Start: 11am at the statue of Samuel Johnson, opposite SOHO Coffee, 215 Strand WC2R 1AP (nearest tube Temple).