While everyone thinks of Roswell as the official biographer of Johnson, this version by another close but more emancipated friend, appeared earlier- in 1787. Hawkins' book seems to have suffered from the fact that it was not wholly adulatory. A man of parts himself, a member of one of Johnson's clubs until he walked out on the gathering, Hawkins maintained his independent judgments- many of which are aired here along with his views on 18th century matters. His Life has not been republished since its second edition (also in 1787) appeared, and here it has been edited and abridged by Bertram II. Davis. Hawkins' book is remarkable for the accuracy with which it depicts Johnson's character and it is a real contribution to a study of that famous man which will certainly occasion a good deal of critical and comparative analysis.