James Boswell: The Hypochondriak

(410 words)
  • Ian McGowan (University of Stirling (retired))

Like many eighteenth-century men of letters, James Boswell was a prolific essayist and contributed, usually anonymously, to many periodicals, most extensively in the seventy monthly essays (1777-83) of “The Hypochondriack” for The London Magazine, of which he was part owner; they were collected with annotation by Margery Bailey in 1928. “Hypochondria” – melancholy – was a fashionable malady of the period, and one that intermittently afflicted Boswell; but fortunately he drew for subject matter on his wide cultural background as well as private experience to write about many of the social topics of the day--love, death, religion, life in the country--as well as literature – diaries, criticism, …

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Citation:
McGowan, Ian. "The Hypochondriak". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=546, accessed 17 April 2014.]