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A history of the dictionary: Dr Johnson, I presume?
Free public lecture by Henry Hitchings at Gresham College, recorded on Monday, 2 March 2009. Available as video, audio, and transcripts.
Johnson's early life was beset by ill health; his eyesight and hearing were poor throughout his life. Poverty obliged him to leave Oxford without a degree. Johnson travelled to London with his friend, the actor David Garrick, and supported himself through journalism. He was commissioned to write his renowned Dictionary of the English Language and rented 17 Gough Square (now Dr Johnson's House, off Fleet Street, a museum dedicated to the life and work of Samuel Johnson).
This lecture is a part of the Look it up yourself! A History of the Dictionary series, which celebrates the tercentenary of the birth of Samuel Johnson.