Idler Walks: A Ramble through Dr Johnson’s London with Henry Eliot

Henry Eliot|Saturday 9th February

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All That Life Can Afford: A Ramble through Dr Johnson’s London

By seeing London,” wrote Samuel Johnson, “I have seen as much of life as the world can shew.” The great man of letters arrived in London in 1737, with no money and just two minor translations to his name. Twenty years later he was the toast of the city, a literary giant, famous for lucid essays, sparkling repartee and his monumental dictionary. Join this stroll through Georgian London in the footsteps of Johnson and his cat Hodge to discover how the teeming, vivid city inspired ‘The Idler’, a weekly column which appeared in an eighteenth-century journal between 1758 and 1760, and Johnson’s other literary creations. The price of the tour includes entry to Dr Johnson’s House on Gough Square. “Sir,” he exclaimed, “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”


Statue of Dr Johnson on the Strand, London

Start: 11am at the statue of Samuel Johnson, opposite SOHO Coffee, 215 Strand WC2R 1AP (nearest tube Temple).

About the Speaker

Henry Eliot has led guided walks through London for Google, the National Trust, the City of London, City Lit and the cheese shop in Leadenhall Market. He is the Creative Editor of Penguin Classics and the author of The Penguin Classics Book, Follow This Thread and, with Matt Lloyd-Rose, Curiocity: An Alternative A-Z of London, which Philip Pullman described as the “most ingenious, insightful, inspiring, intoxicating, and simply interesting guide to the great city that I have ever seen”.



Saturday 9th February 2019




2-2.5 hours


Meet at the statue of Samuel Johnson, opposite SOHO Coffee, 215 Strand WC2R 1AP

Nearest Tube



£30 (includes entry to museum)


Entry to Dr Johnson’s House, Idler tote bag with a copy of the magazine, badge and bookmark

To Book

Add to basket or call 0203 176 7907


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