Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



James Boswell, whose Life of Johnson is generally recognized to be "the most skillfully written biography in the English language, was an eighteenth-century Scottish lawyer, as well as a prominent literary figure. Boswell's private papers, including his now-famous Journal in which he recorded the day-to-day events of his life during most of his adult years, are owned by Yale University; Boswell for the Defense is the seventh volume in the series of Yale Editions of the Private Papers of James Boswell and covers a five-year period of his life (from ages 29 to 34), a period of "sustained application to professional [legal] labors."' The present volume consists of Boswell's Journal for these years; extensive editorial comment which fills out and explains the Journal; a summary of the eighteenth-century, Scottish legal system; a glossary of eighteenth-century, Scottish, legal terms; and a list of illustrations which includes such items as a portrait of Lord Mansfield and an engraving of the House of Lords in 1742.