James Boswell was born on 29 October 1740, the eldest son of a distinguished judge known as Lord Auchinleck (pronounced “Affleck”;) from his family estates in Ayrshire in what is now “Burns country” (they knew of each other but lived on different social planes and never met). James was conscious of family history and boasted that the blood of the Bruce flowed in his veins; he was distantly related to Prince Charles Edward, the Pretender, and the reigning monarch, George III. In politics, the father was a Whig; in religion a Presbyterian; in manner noted for his conservative Scottish speech and writing (though he was a fine classical scholar and built the smart neo-classical Auchinleck House). Much of James's early life consisted of reactions against the family's stern values…

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Citation: McGowan, Ian. "James Boswell". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2000 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5049, accessed 16 July 2024.]

5049 James Boswell 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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