Richard Savage, An Author to be Lett

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Richard Savage (1697–1743) is known mostly for the time he spent in the company of Samuel Johnson, when they were fellow strugglers in literary London during the late 1730s. Johnson was then on the brink of assembling a body of work that would bring him immense renown, while Savage was moving towards the end of his life as a hack writer, in a career that had yielded more humiliations than triumphs. Their relationship forms the background to Johnson’s celebrated


of his friend (1744). In recent years it has given rise to a prize-winning biographic account by Richard Holmes,

Dr Johnson and Mr Savage

(1993), and it figured centrally in Adam Rounce’s study of the heroic failures of eighteenth-century literature (2013), in which Savage exemplifies “The unfulfilled literary life”.

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Citation: Rogers, Pat. "An Author to be Lett". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 May 2021 [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

40505 An Author to be Lett 3 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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