“A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.” So said Dr Johnson who numbered some of the greatest minds of the 18th century (both male and female) as his friends. Meet these poets, painters, historians, harlots, journalists and jesters and come to know them through books and prints from John Byrne’s library and the libraries of Johnson’s friends.
JOHN BYRNE is a retired solicitor and founding member of the Johnson Society of Australia. He is currently a Governor of Dr Johnson’s House, London, former President of The Johnson Society, Lichfield, England (2008-9), and former President of The Samuel Johnson Society of The West USA (2008-9). He has been a Johnson collector for over four decades and lectured widely in USA , UK and Australia.
Owen Bailey (flourished 1851) after James Doyle (1822–1892), detail from A literary party at Sir Joshua Reynolds’s, published 1851, National Portrait Gallery, London