Samuel Johnson’s Journey To The Western Islands Of Essay

1031 Words5 Pages
Samuel Johnson’s Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland This text is an extract from the travel narrative Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland written by Samuel Johnson and published in 1775. It is an eighty-three day journey through Scotland, in the islands of the Hebrides, in summer and autumn 1773. He was accompanied by an old friend of his James Boswell, a Scotsman who kept a record of the trip that was published in 1785 as A Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides and focusing on his friend Johnson. The author describes the small island of Inch Keith and the city of St Andrews. Johnson’s record shows the preconceptions of the time towards Scotland and the Scottish people through a constant denigration of the land and a recurrent patriotism for his motherland, England. It is clear to see that the author completely lacks of objectivity. Johnson had spent most of his life in London and travelled for the first time in 1771. He came to Scotland in 1773 to see what he believed to be a primitive and wild land. The journey was intended to discuss the social problems and struggles affecting the Scottish people. Therefore, he left England with some existing prejudices towards the Scotts and their land. His first stop is at Edinburgh. He purposely omits to mention the beauty and the greatness of this historical city. It is “a city too well known to admit description”. He prefers avoiding the praise that should be made to Edinburgh for its deaf-mute hospital. The little island of Inch Keith seems to be “nothing more than a rock covered with a thin layer of earth” and accommodating cows that graze upon it in the summer. He describes the little fort as “ruins”, nothing more than some kind of shed that has been “neglected” for centuries. Also, Johnson refers to Scotland throughout his travels in the past tense, as if it was no longer a country. St Andrews

More about Samuel Johnson’s Journey To The Western Islands Of Essay

Open Document