The World’s Greatest Outlaw

The life of Samuel Johnson, would-be attorney-at-law

Lapham’s Quarterly
13 min readDec 10, 2018

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“The Third Otani Hiroemon as an Outlaw Standing Near a Willow Tree” by Katsukawa Shunsho, 1777, via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1918

By Richard Cohen

Toward the end of his life, Samuel Johnson drew up a list of subjects that he would like to research. He projected forty-nine works in all; none was on any aspect of the law. According to James Boswell, Johnson’s celebrated biographer, almost the only subjects sure to dis­tress Johnson…

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Lapham’s Quarterly

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