like the highlands?

“Who can like the Highlands?” answered Dr. Johnson.And so the famous trip through the Scottish Highlands drew to a close, to be immortalized in James Boswell’s journal. It was a snapshot in time, of the wild ways of the Hebrides only twenty years after the English had put down the insurrection.As Johnson put it, “They are now losing their distinction, and hastening to mingle with the general community” …

—Caricaturist and genre painter Samuel Collings (died 1795) was commissioned by the Marylebone publisher E Jackson to imagine scenes from this trip and come up with humorous illustrations. Princeton holds 22 of these original drawings. Thomas Rowlandson (1756/57-1827), who had collaborated with Collings on several other projects, was enlisted to etch the drawings.
A separate portfolio of 20 prints was released in May of 1786, under the title, Picturesque Beauties of Boswell,—Read More:

…All this Boswell packed into the diary that he brought home with him to James’s Court. Johnson had read the manuscript as it developed day by day and on September 20, 1773 had announced that it was “a very pretty Journal.” From Boswell’s point of view, the notes that he had succeeded in putting together would alone have justified their expedition, and when they parted on November 22, he sank back satisfied, if somewhat weary. Johnson himself pretended to have been well pleased. “He said to me often that the time he spent in this tour was the pleasantest part of his life, and asked me if I would lose the recollection of it for five hundred pounds. I answered I would not; and he applauded my setting such a value on an accession of new images in my mind.” Yet, a few days earlier, at Auchinleck, when a neighboring gentleman “asked Dr. Johnson how he liked the Highlands,” the attitude he adopted was very different. “Who can like the Highlands?” he inquired; and the gentleman-Boswell informs us- wisely “asked no more questions.”

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