Johnson on Truth Telling in Life and Literature: A Book on Culture Wars in Imperial Great Britain

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Fall 2004

Project Description/Abstract

A combined Faculty Grant and Summer Stipend would fund two weeks of archival research in the British Isles (mid-May) and a month of scholarship (Summer Session II) at home and at Yale’s Beineke Library to the specific end of completing Chapters 1-4 in my book, National Culture Wars in Imperial Great Britain: Johnson, Ossian, and Literary Forgery for Penn State University Press. I am also invited to publish a major article of the subject next summer in The Age of Johnson: A scholarly Annual by the editor, Professor Paul J. Korshin. My focus is Samuel Johnson’s debunking of the most successful forgery in literary history, namely James Macpherson’s fraudulent Ossian Poetry (1760-73). Your grant will help me to elucidate the controversy, make public an unknown writing on Ossian by Johnson, and correct misleading modern scholarship about the forgery.

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