Publication Date: 03/08/2023 ISBN: 9781784701079 Category:

Dinner with Joseph Johnson

Daisy Hay

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication Date: 03/08/2023 ISBN: 9781784701079 Category:
Paperback / Softback




*Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize*

In late eighteenth-century London, a group of extraordinary people gathered around a dining table once a week.

The host was Joseph Johnson, publisher and bookseller and he was joined at dinner by a shifting constellation of great minds including William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Henry Fuseli, Anna Barbauld and Mary Wollstonecraft.

Johnson’s years as a maker of books saw profound change in Britain and abroad. In this remarkable portrait of a revolutionary age, Daisy Hay captures a changing nation through the stories of the men and women who wrote it into being, and whose ideas still influence us today.

‘Rich in period and personal detail’ Guardian

‘Hugely engrossing’ Sunday Times

Publisher Review

Hay's meticulously researched biography, rich in period and personal detail, sheds light on both Johnson and the vibrant cultural world he inhabited -- Hannah Beckerman * Guardian * [A] compelling and magnificent study... Dinner with Joseph Johnson is an admirable achievement of biography and humanistic imagination -- Katheryn Sunderland * Times Literary Supplement * Dinner with Joseph Johnson sheds much-needed light on a key figure in both the ideological and material context of the 18th century... Hay's meticulous research brings this "paper age" to life... Evokes the noise and excitement of an age characterised by the unceasing hum of literary debate... a fitting reflection of the period that Hay describes: a time when the written word could make someone's name - or cost them their liberty * Financial Times * This delightful book by the English literature professor Daisy Hay gives the reader the feeling of being at a rather elevated party... Johnson's guests talked, wrote and painted about democracy, human rights, atheism, feminism, anatomy, chemistry and electricity. While dreaming of a better future, they befriended each other, loved each other and criticised each other... shaped an era... Johnson was a brilliant talent spotter and supported the best minds of his day -- Emma Duncan * The Times * A portrait of literary ferment... Daisy Hay's compendious and impressive survey illuminates the contribution to these significant ideological shifts of the ill-assorted men and women whose kinship was marked by their shared participation in Joseph Johnson's hospitality * Daily Telegraph *

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