Download Boswell’s London Journal (Abridged) Audiobook

Boswell’s London Journal (Abridged) Audiobook, by James Boswell Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: James Boswell Narrator: Anthony Quayle Publisher: Copyright Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2014 ISBN: 9781780002941
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (240 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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In 1762, twenty-two-year-old James Boswell left Edinburgh for London. This portion of his personal journal documents the nine months that followed. Filled with detail, description, and zest for life, Boswell’s London Journal provides a frank and accurate picture of both the young man and London in the early 1760s. While many of Boswell’s journals have been published, this one gained popularity for its racier entries as well as its descriptions of Boswell’s first encounter with Samuel Johnson, who would later be the subject of his most famous written work, the biography The Life of Samuel Johnson. This audiobook contains a wonderful reading by the talented Sir Anthony Quale.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Boswell was the most charming companion in the world, and London becomes his dining room and his playground, his club and his confessional. No celebrant of the London world can ignore his book.”

    Peter Ackroyd, author of London: The Biography

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 12/23/2013

    " I read this because it has descriptions of the 10th and 11th Earls of Eglinton (cousins to my husbands family). That was really the only reason, but I do remember being fascinated by Boswell himself and his ability to record the time in which he lived. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Debs | 12/5/2013

    " I truly believe the term "brownnoser" has never been more adequate a descriptor than when it is applied to James Boswell. I will collect my favorite quotes and add them here shortly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 10/17/2013

    " I found it terribly interesting and illuminating. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Avis | 1/23/2013

    " I have tried to read this book more than once, but Boswell--when he is his normal, unguarded self--comes across as the most excruciating little narcissistic prick you've ever come across between the pages of a journal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 10/3/2012

    " James Boswell was an observant and interesting man who wanted to write about Samuel Johnson but also revealed a great deal about himself. Great read for lovers of history and literature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Will | 6/17/2012

    " Lots of salubrious details in this little volume (a bestseller upon its release, believe it or not), but I found it pretty dull going on the whole. If you are in love with the hypocritical, theatrical, megalomaniacal, shameless sponge who wrote it, you'll probably like it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jack | 3/30/2011

    " Much like Samuel Pepys's diary, this is a great window into Boswell's era. Of course, some of what he records in his journal is simply mundane detail, but you'll be amazed by the number of times he gets the clap from prostitutes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 3/15/2011

    " i learned: syphilis sucks & so do loose women "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 4/9/2010

    " People really did speak to each other in a silly manner. Go Britain! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fedor | 3/24/2010

    " An intimate look into the day-to-day life of an 18th Century gentleman. A surprisingly fast, enjoyable and captivating read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 10/9/2009

    " I read this because it has descriptions of the 10th and 11th Earls of Eglinton (cousins to my husbands family). That was really the only reason, but I do remember being fascinated by Boswell himself and his ability to record the time in which he lived. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Will | 6/18/2009

    " Lots of salubrious details in this little volume (a bestseller upon its release, believe it or not), but I found it pretty dull going on the whole. If you are in love with the hypocritical, theatrical, megalomaniacal, shameless sponge who wrote it, you'll probably like it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 5/9/2009

    " i learned: syphilis sucks & so do loose women "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 HRT | 6/24/2008

    " I have tried to read this book more than once, but Boswell--when he is his normal, unguarded self--comes across as the most excruciating little narcissistic prat you've ever come across between the pages of a journal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 2/29/2008

    " People really did speak to each other in a silly manner. Go Britain! "

About the Author

James Boswell (1740–1795), Scottish man of letters, was born in Edinburgh and studied civil law at Glasgow, but his true ambition was literary fame and the company of great men. In spring 1760 he ran away to London, where he first met Samuel Johnson. He eventually met Voltaire, Rousseau, and Paoli, the hero of Corsica, whom he Boswellized in Account of Corsica, which was an immediate success. In 1773 he was elected to Johnson’s famous literary club. After Johnson’s death and the publication of The Journal of the Tour of the Hebrides, another great success, he began his acknowledged masterpiece, The Life of Samuel Johnson.

About the Narrator

Anthony Quayle (1913–1989) was an English actor and director who began his career on stage in 1931. Tall, burly, round-faced, and possessed of a powerful and resonant voice, he was mentored early on in his career by the well-known stage director Tyrone Guthrie. In 1936, he appeared on Broadway in The Country Wife and had roles in eight more productions, earning a Tony Award nomination in 1956 and winning a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance in Sleuth in 1971. From 1948 to 1956, he was director of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, bringing into the company some of the biggest stars of the stage, including Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud. In motion pictures he often portrayed authority figures, such as his role in Lawrence of Arabia, or was used in historical epics due to his classical training, such as his performance as Cardinal Wolsey in Anne of the Thousand Days, which earned him an Academy Award nomination. Over the years, he consolidated his position as a Shakespearean actor, and his voice was heard as narrator of Shakespeare classics, of The Six Wives of Henry VIII, and on radio in anything from The Ballad of Robin Hood to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Purloined Letter.