Joseph Johnson

Joseph Johnson
Birth and death
1738 - 1809
Profession details
Related place
Alistair Grant

Joseph Johnson, (1738-1809), bookseller Johnson leased Holstein House in Weybridge in 1807 and set up twelve printing presses there. The Holstein Printing Works presses ran until 1818. Johnson was also an important literary publisher, publishing Addison, Steele, Pope, and Johnson, and important editions of Milton's 'Paradise Lost', James Thomson's 'The Seasons', and Daniel Defoe's 'Robinson Crusoe'. He also published early works by Wordsworth and Coleridge. From 1781 he was agent and editor to the poet William Cowper. Johnson published Cowper's Poems at his own risk, which proved highly profitable, retaining the copyright until he died in 1809. In the early 1790s Johnson had published most of the key radical responses to the French Revolution, including Edmund Burke's 'Reflections on the Revolution in France', and was behind the publication of Thomas Paine's 'Rights of Man'. As a leading liberal publisher during the 1790s he was eventually successfully prosecuted for sedition in early 1798 and was sentenced to six months' imprisonment.

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