I didn’t attend this one, but there’s a wonderful article on it in the Harvard Gazette:

Samuel Johnson’s “Dictionary of the English Language” was first published in 1755 as his attempt to both rein in and celebrate the galloping vigor of English. For 150 years, it was considered the pre-eminent compilation of its kind.

But Johnson — born 300 years ago this coming Sept. 18 — was more than its author. He was England’s most famous man of letters, rising from humble origins as the son of a provincial bookseller to become an accomplished poet, literary critic, playwright, essayist, and (not least) conversationalist.

Johnson — in all his fullness, contradiction, erudition, and energy — was remembered, reviewed, and revered late last month (Aug. 27-29) in a Harvard literary celebration.

The three-day event, “Johnson at 300: A Houghton Library Symposium,” drew more than a hundred Johnsonians from all over the world….

The symposium was the largest scholarly celebration of Johnson this year in the United States, said organizer Thomas Horrocks, Houghton’s associate librarian for collections. He called the author “this good and great man.”

Accompanying the article is this wonderful picture of Greg Clingham, professor and director of the university press at Bucknell, and a scholar whose work I have been admiring since I was a graduate student whose dissertation was barely a blip in his brain:

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