As a devout Anglican, he was an outspoken enemy of the......

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sb70012, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    << deleted >> In 1773 he (Boswell) persuaded Johnson to join him in a tour of the Highlands and the Hebrides. Almost every aspect of the adventure should have made it impossible, or at least unpleasant. Johnson, far from young and after years of sedentary city living, found himself astride a horse in wild country or in open boats in autumn weather. As a devout Anglican, he was an outspoken enemy of the Presbyterian church, the national church of Scotland.

    Source: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, James Boswell (1740-1795)

    Hello teachers,

    The blue word (he) refers to James Boswell or Samuel Johnson?

    Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2013
  2. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    The previous sentence was about Samuel Johnson. The Anglican referred to must be Johnson as well. (And from the context, we know that Johnson lived in London and had come up to Scotland. At that time, most Englishmen would be Anglicans.)
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    Boswell wasn't mentioned at all in the previous sentence, so it would be safe to assume 'he' at that point can only mean Johnson. But this can often be very difficult to decide. It sometimes needs world knowledge, or even guessing. Boswell, for example, at one point in his youth converted to Roman Catholicism, so I happen to know he couldn't be described as a devout Anglican.

  4. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

  5. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    Besides the grammatical reason already mentioned, the context also shows that it refers to Johnson.

    The sentence is giving a further reason why Johnson might have been expected to dislike the trip.

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