This posthumous engraving shows the author and lexicographer, Samuel Johnson. Johnson had an important and far reaching affect on the English language. He is perhaps best known for his role in compiling a new English dictionary. Published in two volumes in 1755, it quickly became regarded as standard authority and has since been described as the pre-eminent British dictionary. At the same time as working on this project, Johnson established himself in other branches of writing and excelled in many, such as criticism, biography and fiction. In 1763 he met the Scottish lawyer, James Boswell, with whom he travelled to Scotland and recorded their adventures. Boswell went on to write Johnson’s biography, the ‘Life of Samuel Johnson’, which was published in 1791.