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Who said: "Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it."

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Samuel Johnson"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it." - Samuel Johnson

Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was born in Staffordshire, England, the son of a bookseller. He studied at Oxford for a time before financial considerations forced him to leave before obtaining his degree, in order to work as a teacher. In 1737 he went to London as a journalist. In 1747 he started work on his Dictionary of the English Language which he anticipated would take him three years, but took eight.

He published many works, especially after being awarded a crown pension in 1762, which allowed him to focus on writing and developing his reputation as a conversationalist. One of his main forums was the Literary Club, of which he was a founder member.

Note: Famous Samuel Johnson's can get confusing. Other Samuel Johnson's include a Protestant religious leader (1822-1882), a pioneer in agricultural regulation (1830-1909), and the syndicated columnist who opposed Roosevelt (1882-1942).

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Today's Top Picks

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Taste Makers
by Mayukh Sen

America's modern culinary history told through the lives of seven pathbreaking chefs and food writers.

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