BOSWELL IN HOLLAND, 1763-1764 by


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The present volume chronologically follows BOSWELL'S LONDON JOURNAL, and in it we find young Boswell devoting his energies to becoming a man of dignity, sobriety and in obeisance to his father and Mr. Johnson. He has come to Utrecht to fill out his legal education in an accepted Scotch procedure. This volume contains only a fragment of the journal -- that written after leaving Utrecht -- since the rest of the work was lost during Boswell's lifetime. The substitute for the finished work consists of over eighty letters written or received by Boswell during his Holland sojourn, and, concerning Belle de Zuyden, in the years following and up to 1769 -- wonderful letters of substance, finesse, and sincerity; memoranda and notes for the journal; French and Dutch themes which Boswell wrote to learn the languages (here presented almost entirely in English); the ten lines-a-day he wrote to practise English composition; and miscellaneous material, including ""portraits"" of Belle de Zuyden and a charming dialogue at the Hague. Mr. Pottle's feeling that the substitution is advantageous in giving a better impression of the general collection and in showing the spontaneous, inner Boswell which the more polished journal might not have done may be justified, though the scope of the offering is more circumscribed than the London Journal. The gain of inwardness with the loss of outwardness will satisfy according to the reader's palate. A delightful addition to Boswelliana, finely edited.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1952
Publisher: McGraw-Hill