"Henry Hitchings's book on Samuel Johnson's mighty Dictionary is so good, so apposite, so chewy and edible, that I felt as if I were re-reading it on my first pass."

Will Self, New Statesman

"Affectionate in its portrayal of Johnson, the book itself is immensely likeable, written with serious intent and gentle good humour"

Sarah Burton, Spectator

"Clever, wittily written, and amusingly arranged."

Andrew Motion, Guardian


Beryl Bainbridge, Guardian

"Hitchings writes with Johnsonian clarity and verve... This is a charming book."

Ian Thomson, Evening Standard

"A goldmine of pleasures."

Phil Baker, Sunday Times

"This is "popular" history of the first rank."

Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

"One of the most enjoyable books I've read this year. Hitchings is a buoyant, zestful writer."

Matthew Price, Boston Globe