This valuable collection presents James Boswell’s quest over a period of some twenty years to amplify his personal knowledge of his major biographical subject, Samuel Johnson, through correspondence with a wide network of friends, authorities, and informants. The volume has been expanded to include 21 letters that were unavailable at the time of its first publication in 1969. Boswell’s papers testify to the diligence of his researches, illuminate his powerfully innovative biographical method, and provide the groundwork for assessments of the complex principles of selection and exclusion that came into play as his overall vision of Johnson took shape. With Marshall Waingrow’s insightful annotations, the collection brings to life an impressive gallery of figures from late eighteenth-century Britain. Correcting production and other errors in the first edition, which has been out of print for two decades, and taking into account recent scholarship, this volume will serve as an indispensable companion to the ongoing manuscript edition of the Life of Johnson. Readers with an interest in the theory and practice of biography or the social world of Britain in the 1700s will find this book filled with enlightening information.