"Dr Johnson's opinion of"
Samuel Johnson by Joshua Reynolds (1885)
Public DomainSamuel Johnson by Joshua Reynolds (1885) - Credit: Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), usually referred to as Dr Johnson, was a prolific author who published widely as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, and lexicographer (creator of dictionaries).

A literary party at Sir Joshua Reynolds' house including Johnson and Boswell (1851)
Public DomainA literary party at Sir Joshua Reynolds' house including Johnson and Boswell (1851) - Credit: D. George Thomson after James William Edmund Doyle

His Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (1755) is considered one of his greatest achievements.

A much-admired biography of his life was written by James Boswell (a personal friend of Dr. Johnson) under the title, James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson (1891).

Later on in the text, Virginia Woolf's narrator notes that Dr. Johnson believed that women were 'capable of education'. Indeed, as is pointed out in the footnote to p.34, Johnson suggested that women were in fact superior to men, a comment noted by Boswell in The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides.