Sterne and Hogarth in parallel
by A. Torelli, E. Notti

INTRODUCTION
Structure of the hypertext

 


CULTURAL BACKGROUND


John Loche
Changes
Samuel Johnson
A quotation
Biography
Coffee Houses
Händel

 


COMPUTATIONAL ANALYSES


Art
Music
Philosophy
Theatre

 


HOGARTH BIOGRAPHY


Gin Lane and Beer Street
Masquerades and Operas

 


STERNE BIOGRAPHY


Satire

 


WHAT THEY HAVE IN COMMON


Lines
David Garrick
Analysis of Beauty
Addison
Shaftesbury

  

Clubs

In the winter of 1749 Johnson formed a club, which met weekly at a "famous beef-steak house'' in Ivy Lane. The Club, like its more famous successor, gave Johnson an opportunity of displaying and improving his great conversational powers. The talk of this society probably suggested topics for "the Rambler", which appeared at this time, and caused Johnson's fame to spread further beyond the literary circles of London. The Rambler, though its circulation was limited, gave to Johnson his position as a great practical moralist. He took his literary title, one may say, from the Rambler, as the more familiar title was derived from the Dictionary. Especially he was in all his glory at the Club, which began its meetings in February, 1764, and was afterwards known as the Literary Club. This Club was founded by Sir Joshua Reynolds, "our Romulus,'' as Johnson called him. The original members were Reynolds, Johnson, Burke, Nugent, Beauclerk, Langton, Goldsmith, Chamier, and Hawkins. They met weekly at the Turk's Head, in Gerard Street, Soho, at seven o'clock, and the talk generally continued till a late hour. The Club was afterwards increased in numbers, and the weekly supper changed to a fortnightly dinner. It continued to thrive, and election to it came to be as great an honour in certain circles as election to a membership of Parliament. Among the members elected in Johnson's lifetime were Percy of the Reliques, Garrick, Sir W. Jones, Boswell, Fox, Steevens, Gibbon, Adam Smith, the Wartons, Sheridan, Dunning, Sir Joseph Banks, Windham, Lord Stowell, Malone, and Dr. Burney. In 1768 the Royal Academy of Arts was established with Sir Joshua Reynolds as its first President. He appears with the architect Sir William Chambers and the sculptor Joseph Wilton in J.F. Rigaud's portrait of leading Academicians. By the second half of the eighteenth century, the domination of painting by foreign artists was a thing of the past and British artists such as Allan Ramsay, Thomas Gainsborough, George Romney and George Stubbs, represented in the collection by self-portraits, were in the ascendancy. Reynolds was a man with many friends and contacts in the literary world. He painted Laurence Sterne in 1760 at the moment of his greatest success, and in 1764 he founded the Literary Club to give Dr Johnson "unlimited opportunities for talking". Among other members of Johnson's circle were James Boswell, later his biographer, Oliver Goldsmith the writer, Edmund Burke the statesman and Charles Burney the musicologist. Another friend of Johnson, David Garrick, dominated the London stage. In music there was no obvious successor to Händel. His influence coloured musical life: the Sharp Family played his works on their Thames barge, as depicted by Zoffany in 1779, while the great Handel Commemoration of 1784, with performances in Westminster Abbey, established a fashion for such festivals.1

Notes

1 Leslie Stephen, Samuel Johnson. New York: the Macmillan Company.
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