Dr. Johnson and His Circle
John Cann Bailey
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The name of Samuel Johnson is, of course, not the greatest in English prose, but even to-day, when he has been dead more than a century and a quarter, it is still the most familiar. We live in an age of newspapers. Where all can read, the newspaper press, taken as a whole, will be a fairly accurate reflection of what is in the mind of a people. Nothing will be mentioned frequently in newspapers which is not of some interest to a large number of readers; and whatever is frequently mentioned there cannot fail to become widely known. Tried by this test, Johnson's name must be admitted to be very widely known and of almost universal interest. No man of letters - perhaps scarcely even Shakespeare himself - is so often quoted in the columns of the daily press.