Welcome to the Johnson Society of Australia
The AGM and 2008 Fleeman Lecture Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 19 January 2009 22:07

The Annual General Meeting of the JSA on October 4, was the first to be held following the incorporation of the Society.  The committee and office bearers, constituted according to the incorporation rules, were unanimously elected:

President: John Wiltshire

Vice-President: Clive Probyn

Treasurer: Barrie Sheppard

Secretary: Barbara Niven

Committee: Bryan Reid, Bronwen Hickman.

The two other members of the pre-incorporation committee, Denis Le Neuf and Paul Tankard, have been asked to become ex-officio members.

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The Making of Dr Johnson Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 19 January 2009 22:03

JSA President John Wiltshire’s latest book, The Making of Dr Johnson, to be published during the Johnson Tercentenary next year, tells the story of how Samuel Johnson became known as  “Dr Johnson”, a quickly recognisable figure, famous for “talking for victory”. It is one of a series called “Icons of Modern Culture” published by Helm Information.

Several members of the Society, including the Western Idler and Dr Paul Tankard, have helped to make the book an important record of the history of the great man.

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Putting more Dictionaries on the bookshelves Print E-mail
Written by Review by Paul Tankard   
Monday, 19 January 2009 21:41

Johnson’s Dictionary: An Anthology, ed. David Crystal.  Penguin Books, London 2005.  xlvi + 650 pp.  RRP $39.95

From being for practical purposes unavailable to most people, Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language is suddenly more available now than it has been for a century or so.  The book’s 250th birthday in 2005 has had something to do with this.  The full-text is available on a number of C.D.s-ROM and online.  David Crystal, who is probably the world’s best-known and most prolific linguistic scholar, has made this Penguin Classics edition, which is the second of two recently-published volumes of selections from the great book.

It is good that this major work of a major writer, and a pioneering work of its kind, is available – albeit in truncated form – to modern readers, as a book.  No conscientious selection from such a work could fail to please; perhaps the best way to review Crystal’s edition is not to retail truisms about the Dictionary itself, but to compare this edition with that of Jack Lynch, Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary, which came out in 2002.

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Double honours for JSA foundation member Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 19 January 2009 22:00

John Byrne, foundation member and first Treasurer of the Johnson Society of Australia, will be President for 2008 and 2009 of two prestigious Johnson Societies – one in the United Kingdom and one in America.

John, for many years been recognised as being one of the world’s most enthusiastic and knowledgeable collectors of  Johnson and Johnsoniana, as well as a tireless correspondent with fellow Johnsonians internationally, has been appointed President of The Johnson Society of Lichfield for 2008/2009.

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The 15th Seminar: Was Dr Johnson a Tourette’s sufferer? Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 19 January 2009 21:36

Dr Simon Bower, a consultant neurologist, drew on his own clinical experience to address the issue of Tourette’s Syndrome, in his paper delivered at the JSA’s 15th Annual Seminar in June 2008 where about forty members and guests attended.

Tourette’s Syndrome has been suggested as an explanation for Johnson’s reported physical quirks and odd behaviour. Simon described the usual manifestations of the syndrome, namely motor tics and obsessive behaviours (of which Johnson had a number).

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