Samuel Johnson and the Wide Brown Land was the Title of a lecture given by our Western Idler, John Byrne, on March 17 to the institute of Advanced Studies at the university of Western Australia.
In the lecture, John discussed the faint but fascinating presence of Johnson and his circle in this continent, from the earliest days of English exploration and settlement on the east coast, through to the growth of Johnsonian scholarship to the present day.
He gave a summary of the life of Johnson, including his place in English literature, his impact on Australian society today and the reasons why Johnson is considered such a towering intellectual figure.
John illustrated his lecture with a selection of material from his extensive library of Johnson’s works and Johnsoniana.
The lecture was given as part of the annual program of public events held by the Institute of Advances Studies, which includes presentations by leading Australian literary and intellectual figures.