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Boston University (Boston, MA 02215-1300)
John Briggs (Project Director: March 2006 to April 2008)
Masters of English Prose: Samuel Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill

A three-week seminar for fifteen college and university teachers on the key works of three great masters of the written and spoken word in English: Samuel Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, and Winston Churchill.

The seminar will focus on key works of three of the greatest masters of the written and spoken word in English -- Samuel Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, and Winston Churchill -- in order to inquire into the foundations and consequences of their double mastery of the resources of English prose. We will study and compare key selected works by these figures not only because of the magnitude of their achievements as writers and speakers, but also because of 1) the imaginative, stylistic, and moral resources each man draws from in his greatest prose, 2) the vital interaction of each man's speaking and writing in the public sphere, 3) the significant points of comparison that emerge from the study of each man's works in proximity with the others', and 4) each man's unsurpassed ability to engage and sometimes overcome, with deeply persuasive language, what seem to be overwhelming circumstances. Although a study of historical context will be important, our priority will be close reading.

Project fields:
British Literature

Seminars for Higher Education Faculty

Education Programs

$105,174 (approved)
$105,174 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2006 – 9/30/2007