Programs & Exhibitions

“In the Midst of the Jovial Crowd”: Young James Boswell in London, 1762–1763

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“In the Midst of the Jovial Crowd”: Young James Boswell in London, 1762–1763

Curated by James Caudle, The Associate Editor, Yale Edition of the Private Papers of James Boswell

April - October 4, 2013

In autumn 1762, the ambitious, clever, jovial, and bumptious twenty-two-year-old Scotsman James Boswell traveled south from Edinburgh to London to seek his fortune in the capital. In his lively journal, he recorded his extraordinarily action-packed eight months there, and his efforts to become a permanent Londoner.

London in the Sixties (the 1760s) was a thrilling place, full of pleasures and dangers, wisdom and folly, high life and low life. This exhibition aspires to place visitors 'in the midst of the jovial crowd' in which young James Boswell felt so alive and happy. Prints by Hogarth and Rowlandson and others, and rare books and ballads, will bring to life the current events, everyday social life, and personalities celebrated in Boswell’s London Journal, unpublished until 1950, but now one of the best-loved works of eighteenth-century life-writing.

To view the exhibition brochure click here.