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James Boswell's relish for life, unflinching honesty and wide social contacts make him one of the raciest and most entertaining of all diarists.This is a one-volume edition of the journals he kept while making his living as an advocate in eighteenth-century Edinburgh. Hugh Milne's introduction and notes remove the barriers that time has placed between us and Boswell. The result is a book in which an extraordinary personality lives before us upon the page. Boswell embodied in himself all the extremes and contradictions of his time and place. This was the Edinburgh of the Enlightenment, and among his friends he counted thinkers like David Hume and Adam Smith, and entertained eminent visitors like Dr Johnson. Boswell was alive to every new social or political idea and was interested in all the drama of human life, whether high or low. All Boswell's public and private doings, and his inner debates about religion and the meaning of life, go unedited into his journal. His vivid description of a whole gallery of characters and situations makes its pages compulsively readable.