"I worked under Area Chief Boswell"

Johnson and Boswell in Edinburgh
Public DomainJohnson and Boswell in Edinburgh - Credit: S. Collings
James Boswell was born in Edinburgh in 1740. He studied literature under private tutors and, later, arts at the University of Edinburgh. When he enrolled at the University of Glasgow he decided to become a monk. His father disapproved and Boswell ran away to London to live as a libertine. His father, who controlled his allowance, forced him to return to the University of Glasgow to finish a degree in law. His father rewarded this achievement by allowing him to return to London where he met and established a friendship with Samuel Johnson.  He became a lawyer, practicing in Scotland, but Boswell is most well-known for being Samuel Johnson’s biographer. The “Life of Samuel Johnson” was published in 1791 and was widely admired.