What's On



Reading Circle

Past Exhibitions

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Whisky Tasting at Dr Johnson's House

Thursday 25th April 7pm (Doors open at 6.30pm)

In 1773, Samuel Johnson and James Boswell undertook a grand tour of north east and north west Scotland plus a number of the islands of the Inner Hebrides.
Along the way, they observed the customs of the locals, occasionally sampling the “water of life” aka whisky…
Join us for a special tasting of six premium Scotch whiskies showcasing the different regional styles   and exploring the fascinating history of this increasingly popular spirit.
Presented by Tim Robbins of independent wine and spirits specialists, Nickolls and Perks, who have around 2000 whiskies in their 18th century store!

Dance on Dun-Can

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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.

David Garrick by Hogarth

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An evening at Dr Johnson's House

Thursday 16th May 6pm - 8pm

A rare opportunity to explore the historic interior of Dr Johnson’s eighteenth-century townhouse, at twilight, whilst enjoying a complimentary drink. As part of the Museums at Night Festival, all four floors of the House will remain open for visitors to view our permanent collection. This event is organised in association with the Museums at Night Festival.

Standard admission prices apply - no need to book, just turn up!

the house

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Samuel Johnson and the Rhythm of the Lives

Monday 17th June 7pm (Doors open at 6.30pm)

In this talk, Philip offers a critical reflection on Johnson’s Lives of the Poets (1779-81). The aim is to elucidate some of the terms of Johnson’s artistic achievement in this critical and biographical late-life masterpiece on the English poets, their history and value, whilst highlighting the distinctively Johnsonian meaning of life (inside and outside poetry) in this the major form of the Lives.
Philip Smallwood is Emeritus Professor of English at Birmingham City University and is the author of prize-winning books, and numerous essays and articles on Samuel Johnson and the history, practice and theory of eighteenth-century literary criticism.

Tickets £10 - includes a complimentary glass of wine

Philip Smallwood

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Lady in a Veil

Thursday 1st August 7pm (Doors open at 6.30pm)

Lady in a Veil
is a solo show performed by Georgina Lock, in the character of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762). Born in Nottinghamshire, the daring, witty Lady Mary wrote essays, poetry and a fascinating collection of letters - including accounts of her travels in the Ottoman Empire as the wife of the British Ambassador. Her introduction of smallpox inoculation, from Turkish harems to Britain, in 1720, and her first trial of inoculation on her son, reduced Europe’s many fatalities from smallpox and paved the way for Jenner's discovery of vaccination. We meet her in 1742, in Turin. She has left England again, without her husband, in pursuit of health and happiness with a much younger man, the brilliant Venetian, Count Francesco Algarotti.

Georgina Lock
Georgina Lock’s background is in teaching scriptwriting at universities, acting and film-making, including the prizewinning short film Short White Pleated.  In May 2018, she played Countess in Horace Walpole’s The Mysterious Mother at the Yale University Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, as part of the Lewis Walpole Library (of Yale) tercentenary celebrations.

Tickets £15 - includes a complimentary glass of wine

Georgina Lock in costume

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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:

5 June

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