11 JANUARY 1908, Page 28


[tinder this heading we notice such Books of the week as hare not been reserved for review in other forms.1 It is almost a commonplace that Boswell's Life of Johnson is as good a test as any of a real love of reading. The man who is wont to take it off its shelf and spend an hour or so at a time over it, year after year, has the root of the matter in him. In the very handsome new edition by Mr. Roger Ingpen, 2 vols. (Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons, 18s. net), it is presented in a peculiarly attractive form. It is profusely illustrated with portraits, land- scapes, pictures of houses, churches, and many other things. Chap. 1, to take a sample of the good things contained, is faced with an engraving of the house in which Johnson was born, with a footnote in which the history of the building is given. Then we have Michael Johnson (the father), the room in which Samuel Johnson was born, Dr. Sacheverell, Queen Anne, Lichfield Grammar School (2), Lichfield in the eighteenth century, Hogarth's "Parson Ford," and Oxford (from an eighteenth- century print). Any chapter that one might choose would furnish as good a show. We cannot speak too highly of the book, which is of the happiest augury for Mr. Roger Ingpen's further ventures in the field of letters.