The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.
§ 3. His posthumous Autobiography
After his death, his Own Life was publishing by Adam Smith (1777), and his Dialogues concerning Natural Religion by his nephew David (1779). We hear of these Dialogues more than twenty years earlier; but he was dissuaded from publishing them at the time, though he was concerned that they should not be lost and subjected the manuscript to repeated and careful revision. His philosophical activity may be said to have come to an end in 1757 with the publication of Four Dissertations, when he was forty-six years old. In spite of many criticisms, he refused to be drawn into controversy; but, in an “advertisement” to the final edition of Essays and Treatises, he protested, with some irritation, against criticisms of A Treatise of Human Nature—“the juvenile work which the Author never acknowledged.”