Dr Barry Jones, one of Australia’s “living treasures” will deliver the JSA’s 2009 David Fleeman Memorial Lecture after the Annual General Meeting at the English Speaking Union on Saturday, October 3, which starts at 2.30 pm.
His lecture is entitled Samuel Johnson and his Great Contemporaries.
Barry writes: “In 2009, we celebrate the three hundredth anniversary of Samuel Johnson’s birth. We reflect on his enormous contribution, not only to shaping and defining what became modern English, but also on the power of his personality, which led to the writing of the greatest biography in the language, and on his haunted inner life.
“We also consider Johnson in context – especially in relation to his two great contemporaries, Laurence Sterne and Edward Gibbon, who respectively transformed the modern novel and the writing of history, with some reference to Jonathan Swift, who overlapped but was born in the previous century.”
Barry Jones, an obsessive himself, has long admired Johnson, especially for his pioneering work on the role of language in expanding human capacity. Barry’s interests, quite apart from politics, include the collecting of autographed documents and letters (regrettably, without having snared Johnson), travel, writing and music.