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It is important to us today not only because we come to know both the good and bad qualities of this eminent literary figure, but because Boswell's work was a milestone in the art of writing biographies. He gave particular details about Johnson's life, rather than vague generalizations, and he was careful to present the whole picture--Johnson's faults as well as his triumphs. In many ways, Boswell was the father of the modern biography. Ironically, though Boswell said that he meant for Johnson's biography to be the most complete story of a person's life ever written, his autobiography proved much more so. His 18 volumes of journals about himself were published after his death, causing one critic to remark that Boswell was perhaps "the best self-documented man in all history."

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Q: Why is The Life of Samuel Johnson important in literature?
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