Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 [OS 7 September] – 13 December 1784), often called Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. He was a devout Anglican, and a committed Tory. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography classes him as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson was selected by Walter Jackson Bate as "the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature".Born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, Johnson attended Pembroke College, Oxford, for just over a year before lack of funds forced him to leave. After work as a teacher, he moved to London and began writing for The Gentleman's Magazine. His early works include Life of Mr Richard Savage, the poems London and The Vanity of Human Wishes and the play Irene. After nine years' effort, Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language appeared in 1755, with far-reaching effects on Modern English. It was acclaimed as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship" and brought him popularity and success. Until the arrival of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later, Johnson's was the pre-eminent English dictionary. Later work included essays, an annotated edition of The Plays of William Shakespeare and a widely read The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia. In 1763 he befriended James Boswell, with whom he later travelled to Scotland, as Johnson described in A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. Near the end of his life he produced a massive, influential Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets of 17th and 18th centuries.