Published: 03 February 2009

view from the front entrance of the Dom Hotel, up towards the Old Town and Kornmarkt
Photo: view from the front entrance of the Dom Hotel, up towards the Old Town and Kornmarkt


Friends in our German twin town of Limburg an der Lahn welcome any opportunity to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary, and so the 300th birthday of Lichfield's most famous son, Dr Samuel Johnson, could not be passed up.

Heide Bein, the Chairman of the Limburg-Lichfield twinning group, wished to try something new, and something which she considered very English, and so mooted the idea of a literary dinner. Having secured the support of the Twinning Association, the tickets, at ?40 each, have been selling like "hot cakes", and over 100 guests will enjoy a three course literary dinner next month on Saturday 21 March at the Dom Hotel. This is one of Limburg's finest hotels, located at the heart of the attractive "old town" in the city.

Between the courses, guests will be entertained by readings from Boswell's biography of Johnson, recently translated into German, and by extracts from Johnson works read by Ralph James, formerly of the booksellers James Redshaw of Lichfield, and who himself is a member of the Lichfield Johnson Society.

The organisers are liaising with the Johnson Birthplace Museum, which plans to provide some additional Johnsonia touches for the event. Mary Baker, Chairman of The Johnson Society (Lichfield) said: "I am delighted that Heide's idea has proved to be so popular. It is wonderful that our friends in Limburg are celebrating Johnson's Tercentenary, and I am sure that they will have a most enjoyable evening".

In the course of the event a raffle will be held, the first prize of which is a trip to Lichfield in September when the Twinning Association is organising an exchange visit. The lucky winners will of course be able to pay their personal respects to the 18th century literary genius at this time.

For more information about Lichfield's twinning activities, contact Julie Dewhurst, the City Council's Twinning Officer, on tel: 01543 309851; for details of the programme of events to mark the Samuel Johnson Tercentenary, contact the Birthplace on tel: 01543 264972 .