In 1786 an anonymous correspondent appealed to Samuel Johnson’s biographer James Boswell in the pages of the Gentleman’s Magazine. Behind the pseudonym Benvolio was Anna Seward (1742-1809), one of the prominent poetical voices of Britain at the time. From 1786-87 and 1793-94, Seward and Boswell engaged in a public and gradually acrimonious dispute over Johnson’s reputation. This article argues that at the core of the debates was Seward’s assertion of her literary and critical authority, and I contend that age and gender played key roles in Boswell’s dismissal of Seward’s claim.
|Translated title of the contribution||“Lamento su naturaleza, pero admiro su arte”: Anna Seward y su afirmación de la autoridad crítica en la madurez y la vejez|
|Number of pages||21|
|Publication status||Published - 3 Dec 2019|