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Grant number like: FB-54239-09

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Richard B. Sher
New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, NJ 07102-1824)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$33,600 (approved)
$33,600 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2009 – 8/31/2009

James Boswell's Correspondence with His Scottish Mentors Hugh Blair, Lord Kames, and Sir William Forbes

My project is to edit three of the four correspondences in the most important volume yet to appear in the Yale Editions of the Private Papers of James Boswell: Boswell's correspondences with Hugh Blair, Lord Kames, and Sir William Forbes. Along with the fourth correspondent in this volume (Sir David Dalrymple, whose correspondence is being edited by a collaborator), these men were formidable 18th-century Scottish literary figures and cultural patrons in their own right, who made major contributions to religion, literary criticism, history, music, and law. They also had a large, and as yet unappreciated, influence on Boswell as mentors and role models. Yet few of these letters have ever been published. Thus, these correspondences--elucidated by the volume's introduction and footnotes, and further enhanced by the addition of Boswell's notes for a life of Kames--will significantly alter perceptions of Boswell and his correspondents and add to our knowledge of the Scottish Enlightenment.