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Samuel Johnson (1709---1784)

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Samuel Johnson (1709---1784). ★ Life experiences. Family --- His father was a book seller, but bankrupt and suffered poverty. Study --- stopped the study at Oxford. Work --- as a school usher. Marriage --- married a widow 20 years older. Writing career --- in 1737. ★ Literary works.

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Samuel Johnson(1709---1784)

★ Life experiences

Family --- His father was a book seller, but bankrupt and suffered poverty

Study --- stopped the study at Oxford

Work --- as a school usher

Marriage --- married a widow 20 years older

Writing career --- in 1737

★ Literary works

Essayist: publish periodical

The Rambler The Adventurer The Idler

Moralist: conservative and against reform and innovation

Critic: the preface to edition of Shakespeare

Dictionary composer: A Dictionary of the English Language

Letter writer: his letter to Lord Chesterfield


the greatest English man of letter


a great composer of dictionary

Henry Fielding (1707 --- 1754)

British writer





founder of the English Realistic school

novelist ﹥dramatist

● Life experiences

Family --- in a upper class family, mother died, father

remarried, seperated with each other

Study --- at Eton college ancient Greek and Roman literature

in Netherlands classical literature

Career ---as a wrier in London

The most outstanding novelist in the 18th century

his satirizing plays

government’s attention

write novels

magazine editor

give up legal career

study law

increasing illness

literary works
● Literary Works
  • The Tragedy of Tragedies 1730 (Tom Thumb) most famous, popular
  • The Coffee-house Politician 1730
  • The Modern Husband 1732
  • Don Quixote in England 1734
  • Pasquin 1737
  • The Historical Register 1737
  • Joseph Andrews 1742
  • Jonathan Wild 1743
  • Tom Jones 1749
  • Amelia 1751

first novel

powerful political satire


last novel


The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

The whole picture of social life in the18th century in England.

all kinds of people

all the areas

Thomas Gray (1716 --- 1771)

★Life experiences

He was a British writer and was a forerunner of the Romantic Professor of History at Cambridge.

Family --- Born in London

Career --- as a scholar in Cambridge

Achievement --- in 1767 the post of Poet Laureate

★ Literary works

Elegy Written in a Country Church-yard 1751

a lasting contribution to English heritage

most popular

Most quoted poems in English language

traditional forms

new topics

modes of expression

poetic diction

Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751 --- 1816)

●Born in Bublin on 30th October 1751

● educated at Harrow School in 1762

● his father: an elocution teacher, actor, and theatre manager

● his mother: a writer


be found








Literary Works

The Rivals

great success

The School for Scandal

his masterpiece

It is considered as the greatest drama after Shakespeare.

Sir Peter Teazle

Joseph Surface


Charles Surface

Mrs. Sneerwell

Mr. Snake

In 1776 , Sheridan decided to abandon his writing to a political career.

In 1780, he became MP for Stafford.

A frequent speaker in the House of Commons

Obtain a reputation as one of the best orator in Britain.

In 1782, Sheridan was appointed as under secretary for Foreign Affairs.

He opposed the Act of Union and lost his office.

He had serious financial problems, in 1813.

He was arrested for debt, and released at last.

Robert Burns (1759 --- 1796)

Born ----- in Scotland in a poor peasant family

Education ----- little education and educated himself

Work ----- on the farm , and as the chief laborer

in the family

Writing career

In 1786, he published his first collection of poems.

In order to buy a ship ticket to Jamaica.

After the first collection of poems, he won great fame.

He gave up to Jamaica, and went to Edinburgh.

In Edinburgh, he published his second collection of poems.

his writing styles
His writing styles
  • In Scottish dialect
  • In the tradition of Scottish folk songs
  • Love lyrics, patriotic and political themes
  • A profound love for the common Scottish people and their literature
  • Permeated with the Scottish national spirit
William Blake (1757 ----- 1827)

Born ----- in a hosier’s family in London.

Family ----- his father: a successful London hosier

Education ----- first, educated at home

then, sent to drawing school

Marriage ----- his wife didn’t know a word before marriage.

He was a poet as well as an engraver.


To illustrate his works and the works of others

To enlarge the meaning of his poetry

His works

Songs of Innocence1789

Songs of Experiences1794

Themes are all about children.

Writing features: long, flowing lines, violent energy

combined with aphoristic clarity and moments of lyric tenderness.