DiscoverMy Sam Johnson
My Sam Johnson

My Sam Johnson

Author: Wayne Jones

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Wayne talks about the bio he's writing about 18th-century English writer Samuel Johnson, "My Sam Johnson: A Biography for General Readers," to be published in 2022. More info at MySamJohnson.com
23 Episodes
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Sam and Universities

Sam and Universities

2021-09-0921:44

Wayne talks about freedom of expression at universities, pivoting from the recent resignation of assistant professor of philosophy Peter Boghossian from Portland State University. Also: the study of Sam in English departments.
Sam Johnson, Blockhead

Sam Johnson, Blockhead

2021-09-0225:04

Wayne talks about Sam's attitude toward writing, and then goes on to discuss why any writer writes and what are the most important things in writing generally.
Sam Was Not Woke

Sam Was Not Woke

2021-08-2422:19

Wake discusses wokeness and Sam Johnson, with some examples from Sam's writing life. There's also a digression on Wayne's experience on Twitter.
Happy with Sam

Happy with Sam

2021-08-1732:20

Wayne discusses happiness and his chat with Gretchen Rubin, author of the New York Times bestselling book, Happier at Home.
Wayne talks about style and tone and how they are different in the three periodicals that Sam wrote: the Rambler, Adventurer, and Idler. He also calls on some modern examples of literature, writing,  and film to bolster the point about the importance of style, notably "On Good People and Bad People" by Matt Taibbi; Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov; Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger; the book and film versions of American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis; and the film Calm Like a Bomb, directed by Mauro Russo Rouge.
Wayne talks about the Dictionary of the English Language that Sam compiled, and which was published in 1755.
Sam and Home

Sam and Home

2021-07-3023:45

Wayne discusses Rambler essay no. 68 (Tuesday, November 10, 1750), and makes comments on it, especially as it relates to two incidents that happened to him during the week.
Sam Dying

Sam Dying

2021-07-2420:31

Wayne describes and comments on the last three weeks of Sam's life, prompted by the account kept by one of Sam's friends, John Hoole.
Sam's Health

Sam's Health

2021-07-1623:20

Wayne talks about Sam's health through his life from birth to death, but mostly focuses on his (Wayne's) methods for researching, organizing, and writing the biography, My Sam Johnson, anticipated to be published in 2022.
Wayne talked to his nephew Sam about current technology, 18th-century technology, and the tech things that are of interest to at least one 11-year-old boy.
Sam Leaves Lichfield

Sam Leaves Lichfield

2021-06-2914:05

Lacking success in finding teaching or writing jobs in Lichfield, Sam moves to London to pursue a literary career.
Wayne talks about the progress with his book, from the beginning, right to 1:27 pm.
Wayne discusses the reasons he is interested in Sam Johnson as a subject for biography.
Wayne reads and comments on three letters written by Sam Johnson.
Sam's Tetty

Sam's Tetty

2021-06-0406:55

Wayne relates some funny anecdotes from the life and marriage of Tetty and Sam, and makes some final comments about empathy and biography.
Wayne reads from the prayers that Sam Johnson wrote a few weeks after the death of his wife in 1752.
Wayne talks about Sam's eating practices and how they relate to his character, as well as how he ended up singeing his wigs so often.
Wayne discusses Sam Johnson's writing style and his plans to try to encourage more reading of Johnson in the biography that he's writing.
Examples of a couple of Sam's prayers and how they illustrate his character and mindset.
Sam gets married in 1735 to a widow named Elizabeth ("Tetty") Jervis, and for a year or so they try to get him set up as a teacher.
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