In 1764, the great Samuel Johnson, irascible genius, unparalleled wit and the toast of all society, is plagued by ill health and has become jaded with hie bickering dependants. Suffering from a bout of melancholy, lie accepte an introduction to the table of Henry Thrale, a wealthy Southwark brewer, and hie vivacious wife Hester. Thus begins an extraordinary relationship that is to last twenty years - and allows us into a world unknown to James Boswell.
As Johnson seules into the generous niche established for him in the Thrales' crowded and hectic household, lie tomes increasingly to rely upon Hester Thrale, and their intimate friendship develops into something darker and more ambiguous. The family is drawn into the raucous, chaotic caravan of Johnson's friends and admirers: Garrick and Goldsmith, Fanny Burney and Joshua Reynolds, sycophante, scholars and drunkards, and it is left to Hester's neglected oldest daughter, named after her mother but known as Queeney, prodigiously clever, spirited and mocking, to provide her own sharp commentary on the destruction that ensues.
Against the brilliant background of Georgian London, According to Queeney candidly and comically tells a story of unrequited love, passion, rejection and possession, revealing the sexual tensions that lie beneath the ordered surface of everyday life.