In a few short weeks I will be embarking for the cacophony of London where I will be exploring the archives of the British Library and Dr. Williams’s Library hunting down the remnants of a circle of friends and colleagues centered around Joseph Johnson. Johnson was a radical publisher, living and working in London in the second half of the 18th century with his equally interesting and polarizing friends, including Mary Wollstonecraft. Far too often, historians have relegated Johnson to a footnote in Wollstonecraft’s life but he was a dynamic and remarkable man in his own right. In the coming weeks I hope to share with you some more about this man, his circle of friends, and the world of London in the early 1790s. For now, there is much work for me to do in preparation for my three brief weeks in London. Despite all the books I still need/get to read and all the logistics I need to sort out, I am itching to be back in the UK (I just recently returned from a semester at Cambridge) and I cannot wait to get into the archives.
And for good measure, here’s an engraving of Johnson: