Boswell & Johnson

Back in my days at the used bookstore, we once acquired an estate which included a significant library of Boswell & Johnson related material. While these items did not sell well, we did dedicate an entire shelf section to them for the shear prestige of it.

Here’s a bit I recall reading in one of the books, an exchange between the two recorded by Boswell, I believe. This is retrieved from an unreliable memory, keep in mind. I could not find a reference to it with an internet search.

Johnson, in teasing, asks Boswell about the Scott’s habit of consuming oats. “In England,” he says, “we feed oats to our horses.” To this Boswell replies, “well, that’s why England has such great horses, and Scotland has such great men.”

Anyway, this came to mind after reading Catherine Meyrick’s book review of a novel that casts these two as mystery solving sleuths. Seems like a fun read.