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July 23, 2012 / Stephanie Vermillion

Stumbling upon Samuel Johnson’s house a welcome surprise in downtown London

Since the wise, ever-mature age of five years old, I’ve known I love writing and need it to be intertwined with my career path in one way or another. I loved crafting fiction from scratch, developing storybooks as family presents and, I’ll sadly admit, writing my brother’s punishment essays with anecdotes of how Winnie the Pooh would react to his behavior (unfortunately this isn’t a joke at all — my mom saved those essays).

Samuel Johnson's house, London England

Samuel Johnson’s house, London England

This love for writing sparked in me a love for the English language, for finding new, compelling ways to tell stories, and it’s an interest I still have to this day. That’s why when Amy (who loves all things literature) and I (your London blogger) stumbled upon Samuel Johnson’s house in London, we did a double take before getting overly excited and reading as much about the house as we could. Here’s what we found:

In 1737, Samuel Johnson moved to London and worked as a struggling journalist. While scraping by on the written word, he was developing his reputation in the literary world and in 1747 he was commissioned to write his Dictionary of the English language, which took him eight years. It was eventually published in 1755. Like many of Britain’s important historical figures, Samuel Johnson was buried at Westminster Abbey after his death in 1784.

One  piece of his advice especially sticks out to me as both a writer and PR professional, and is actually applicable to people from all professions. Simply put (in my terminology), take pride in your work. But as the ever so eloquent Samuel Johnson puts it:

          “What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” 

So true. Are there any other quotes you like from Samuel Johnson? Let me know … I’m always open to new, inspiring quotes from some of history’s wisest people.

Samuel Johnson's house, London England

Samuel Johnson’s house, London England

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