According to Wikipedia: Johnson was influenced by the vogue for exotic locations. He had translated A Voyage to Abyssinia by Jeronimo Lobo in 1735 and used it as the basis for what was described as a philosophical romance. Ten years prior to writing Rasselas he published "The Vanity of Human Wishes" in which he describes the inevitable defeat of worldly ambition.
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B & R Samizdat Express
March 01, 2010
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