New James Boswell Car Sticker

As you can see from the photo above, I love reading James Boswell. So do a lot of people. He's most famous for writing The Life of Samuel Johnson, which is generally considered to be the greatest biography ever written. But he also wrote thousands of letters and kept voluminous diaries. They were frank. He held nothing back, so his family hid them away in trunks. They were rediscovered in the 1920s, and the family, needing cash, parted with them. Boswell's London Journal, 1762-1763, the first collection to be published in 1950, was a surprise bestseller. It's the perfect introduction to this incredibly complex man. He was considered a buffoon while he was alive, a Johnson hanger-on, though he had written the well-received An Account of Corsica, which made his name. Even after the Life was published and recognized immediately as a masterpiece, he was still considered a fool who succeeded only because of his access to Johnson. Towards the end of his life, he wrote that it had all been for nothing. “I was as a board on which fine figures had been painted, but which some corrosive application had reduced to its original nakedness.” If only he knew that people would be reading his work 200 years after his death. Today few read Johnson, but Boswell is more popular than ever, and deservedly so. You can buy a sticker of the young Scot (he looked like this when he pursued Dutch writer Belle de Zuylen in Holland) for $5.95 and there's no charge for shipping.