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Caribbean Beat Magazine

Johnson’s Gentleman — Francis Barber

Dr. Samuel Johnson: poet, critic, wit, essayist, playwright, author of the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language — here was one of the towering figures of 18th-century English life and literature, immortalised by his biographer Boswell. But but behind Dr. Johnson, serving and supporting the great man in his endless projects, was a little-remembered figure from the Caribbean: Francis Barber, of Jamaica. Barber's extraordinary role in Johnson's life is recalled by Frances Parkes
A Young Black by Sir Joshua Reynolds — a portrait of Francis Barber. Painting by Tate Gallery Publications