What's On



Reading Circle

Past Exhibitions

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Tea at two at Dr Johnson's House

Every Tuesday in January at 2pm, excluding New Year's Day

Enjoy a cuppa in Dr Johnson's parlour, and ask the curators your questions about the House, tea drinking, our current exhibition, or Johnson himself.

Tea is included in the admission price. Why not come along!

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Grappling with chaos: Johnson and language change

Wednesday 6th February 7pm (Doors open at 6.30pm)

Samuel Johnson wrote in one way about fixing language in his plan for his 1755 dictionary, and in a very different way in his preface years later when it was actually published. During the process of compiling the dictionary he had discovered that every word is on the move, and that the lexicographer’s job is to do one’s best in fixing language while accepting never quite succeeding.

Lane Greene is the language columnist and an editor at The Economist, based in London. He received an M.Phil. from Oxford in European politics, and a BA with honours from Tulane in international relations and history, and speaks nine languages. Lane’s latest book, Talk on the Wild Side is both a guide to the great debates and controversies of usage, and a love letter to language itself.

Tickets £10 - includes a complimentary glass of wine

Talk on the wild side cover

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Love & Passion in the Eighteenth Century

Wednesday 13th February 7pm (Doors open at 6.30pm)

Julie Peakman offers a journey through the vast amount of amatory pleasures on offer in the eighteenth century. This was a culture which both celebrated sex and women’ sexuality, while simultaneously robbing women of their sexual freedom, subjugating them to a life of prostitution and making sex outside of marriage something to be frowned upon. It was a time when sodomy was a hangable offence, yet flagellation was an acceptable practice. Sex was preached about from the pulpit, written about in scandal sheets and played out in drawing rooms and brothels. Julie Peakman is an historian of sexuality and the 18th Century, and author of The Pleasure’s All Mine, a History of Perverse Sex.

Tickets £10 - includes a complimentary glass of wine

Amatory Pleasures image

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Fashionable Circles? Reynolds, Johnson, Garrick and the Art of Dress

Thursday 2nd May 7pm (Doors open at 6.30pm)

Whilst Samuel Johnson may not have cared much for fashionable dress many of his friends and associates were careful to dress to impress. The fine art of fashion within his circle will be explored with special reference to the clothing of David and Eva Maria Garrick, and the portrait practice of Samuel Johnson’s close friend Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Jacqui Ansell specialised in History of Dress at the Courtauld Institute and has devised and delivered courses and talks on this subject at the National Gallery, NPG, Wallace Collection and V&A.  Having worked for many years for the Open University, Jacqui is now Senior Lecturer at Christie’s Education, and an accredited Arts Society Lecturer specialising in the history of fine and decorative art.

Tickets £10 - includes a complimentary glass of wine

David Garrick by Hogarth

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Follow in Johnson's footsteps and explore the courts and alleys off Fleet Street with an experienced City Guide.

1st Wednesday of each month (except Jan.), 3pm

Next walk:

6 February

Groups may also book walks at alternative times. For any enquiries please contact us.

Dr Johnson's Fleet Street - Discover Johnson's life and work in and around Fleet Street and his acquaintances in the area.
Dr Johnson's City - Explore the Fleet Valley, Ludgate Hill and St Paul's Churchyard areas as Johnson knew them.

£5/£4 concessions. No booking required. Meet outside Dr Johnson's House.

This is a joint venture between Dr Johnson's House and the City Guides.

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Johnson and Boswell 'Walking down the High Street' by Rowlandon

Events information

Most events sell out and tickets must be bought in advance. Card payments are processed by PayPal. We regret that we are unable to take card payments over the phone.

Customers wishing to pay by cheque should send a cheque payable to 'Dr Johnson's House Trust Ltd' to Dr Johnson's House, 17 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE. Please include your contact details. We will let you know when your cheque arrives.

Please note the House contains unavoidable steps. For more information about access, please visit our Facilities page.

LondonShh. Small Historic Houses Link to London Shh website Accredited Museum