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Abyssinia's Samuel JohnsonEthiopian Thought in the Making of an English Author$
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Wendy Laura Belcher

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199793211

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199793211.001.0001

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Habesha Discourse and Johnson’s Oriental Tales

Habesha Discourse and Johnson’s Oriental Tales

(p.170) 6 Habesha Discourse and Johnson’s Oriental Tales
Abyssinia's Samuel Johnson

Wendy Laura Belcher

Oxford University Press

Johnson wrote many “oriental tales” over the same decade he wrote Rasselas, in the 1750s. Most appear to contain details that rise from Johnson’s reading about the Habasha. Some of the Habesha details in Johnson’s tales are mere geography or nomenclature, yet the amalgam of resemblances suggests a deep resonance, one informed by Habesha self-representations.

Keywords:   Ethiopian discourse, Oriental tales, the vision of Theodoer, Samuel Johnson

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