BOSWELL IN SEARCH OF A WIFE by

BOSWELL IN SEARCH OF A WIFE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Returned from the Grand Tour, inclined and advised to settle, Boswell spent the years recorded here, 1766-1769, in an effort to establish himself in wedlock. His career as a lawyer, begun with impetuous flair, comes in for a few asides from the central theme of the search; his Account of Corsica had established him as a writer and his interest and efforts in this direction continued, while his handling of the Douglas case was a highpoint in his practice at the period. From varied sources the enclosures come: from the journals, London and Johnsonian, from the rich correspondence with friend William Temple and later fiancee Margaret Montgomerie. The acknowledgement of serious regard and the resultant steadfastness puts a welcome end to the fevered dalliances and fancied alliances (fervid courtships). The field had included a gardener's daughter, a young Irish heiress, a cool ""Princess"" who played her prospects mercilessly, a married mistress of dubious character. Boswell's relation with his father, Lord Auchinleck, is strained by the marital intentions of both:- his father preparing to remarry; Boswell, to his credit, foregoing the worldly evaluation of dowry and connections, neither of which Margaret possesses in measure, for a love of character and dignity. While Bosewell has some opportunities to bail Johnson and arranges to introduce him to Paoli and record their encounter, this is essentially a personal volume of narrower scope, with the ennui of spurious sensibility to be weighed against the emerging sincerity in affairs of the heart. The fifth volume of the series is diminished rather than dominant.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill