Vanderbilt Law Review

Article Title

Book Note

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.