ENEC 313: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature
Exercise #4

Due at the start of class on Thursday, April 24. Five to seven pages, double-spaced.

In class, we've read two accounts of Samuel Johnson's and James Boswell's journey through the outer reaches of Scotland in the late summer of 1773: Johnson's letter to Hester Thrale, written during the middle of the trip, and an excerpt from his published Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. For this assignment, I want you to add a third text, the section of Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Dr. Samuel Johnson that is printed on pages 2839-2843 of the Sherman anthology. All three texts describe the same experience, but each is radically different--in style, in tone, in what it emphasizes and what it leaves out. For this exercise, I want you to consider all three of these accounts and analyze the significance of these differences. What do these differences reveal about the purposes of each text, its interests and goals? What kind of audience seems imagined for each of these texts, and how does that affect their shape? How does each text follow or deviate from the theory of travel writing that Johnson articulates in Idler#97? Be specific, and demonstrate how the different features that you emphasize are significant for our understanding of Johnson, Boswell, and eighteenth-century travel writing more generally.