Johnson's Household


James Boswell. Transcript of Samuel Johnson’s Diary for April 22nd, 1753. Manuscript. MS Hyde 50 (69)


The original diary for this period no longer exists; Johnson burned it just days before his death. It survives through this transcript made by Boswell, and reveals that little more than a year after Elizabeth Johnson's death, Johnson was resolved "to try to seek on Monday a new wife without any derogation from dear Tetty's memory. I purpose [sic] at sacrament in the morning to take my leave of Tetty in a solemn commendation of her soul to God." It is impossible to say who, if anyone, Johnson had in mind at this moment, but he did not in fact remarry. Boswell opted to omit this passage from the Life, perhaps feeling that it reflected poorly on Johnson's relationship with Tetty.