The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.
§ 3. His first writings and his Translation of A Voyage to Abyssinia
Of his five and a half years in the midlands after his residence in Oxford, the records are fragmentary. His earliest extant letter (30 October, 1731) has reference to an unsuccessful application for the post of usher in the grammar school of Stourbridge. He acted in this capacity for some time, in 1732, at Market Bosworth, in Leicestershire. Later in the same year, he paid a visit to his lifelong friend Edmund Hector, then settled as a surgeon in Birmingham; and it would appear that Birmingham was his home for the next three years. What is certain is that his hopes had now turned to writing. He contributed to The Birmingham Journal a number of essays, all of which are lost; he planned his edition of Politian; he offered to write for The Gentleman’s Magazine; and he completed his first book, A Voyage to Abyssinia, by Father Jerome Lobo. With a Continuation of the History of Abyssinia, and Fifteen Dissertations, by Mr. Le Grand. From the French. The volume was printed in Birmingham and published in London, anonymously, in January, 1735.