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By Sophie Bourgault

A better half to Enlightenment Historiography offers a survey of crucial historians and historiographical debates within the lengthy eighteenth century, interpreting those debates' stylistic, philosophical and political value. The chapters, lots of that have been specifically commissioned for this quantity, provide a mix of obtainable creation and unique interpretive argument; they'll hence attraction either to the student of the interval and the extra basic reader. half I considers Gibbon, Hume, Robertson, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Herder and Vico. half II explores wider issues of nationwide and thematic context: English, Scottish, French and German Enlightenment historians are mentioned, as are the options of old growth, secularism, the origins of historicism and the deployments of Greek and Roman antiquity inside 18th century historiography. participants are Robert Mankin, Simon Kow, Jeffrey Smitten, Rebecca Kingston, Siofra Pierse, Bertrand Binoche, Donald Phillip Verene, Ulrich Muhlack, David Allan, Noelle Gallagher, Francois-Emmanuel Boucher, Sandra Rudnick Luft, Sophie Bourgault, C. Akca Atac, and Robert Sparling.

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John Murray (London, 1896), p. 285 and p. 411 respectively. 3 Donald R. Kelley, Faces of History. Historical Inquiry from Herodotus to Herder (New Haven, 1998), pp. 211–216. As Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of the World (1614) and Bossuet’s Discours sur l’histoire universelle (1681) were key texts in the genre of universal history, it seems almost logical that two texts of Bossuet’s “atcheived [Gibbon’s] conversion” to Catholicism at age sixteen, and that a few years later one of his first serious (though shortlived) historical projects was to write an account of Raleigh and his times.

57, 121; also 393 (Gibbon’s emphases). 30 Edward Gibbon, Essai sur l’étude de la littérature, ed. Robert Mankin (1761; Oxford, 2010), ch. LII, p. 126 (“I labour up the Alps with Hannibal, but I am present at Tiberius’ council”; my translation). edward gibbon: historian in space 41 another with the past. 31 But Smith was worried by a contradiction: the heightened demand was often related to political and religious questions that led not to the creation of narrative but to “long demonstrations” that “interrupt the thread of the narration” and weaken it.

Here is the final volume’s final sentence, published in 1788: It was among the ruins of the Capitol, that I first conceived the idea of a work which has amused and exercised near twenty years of my life, and which, however inadequate to my own wishes, I finally deliver to the curiosity and candour of the Public (3:1085). The reader’s first reaction, in closing the Decline, may be to turn away from the twelve hundred years just recounted, and to marvel that twenty could produce so much. The Decline’s end was not only its beginning, with the book spiraling back upon itself, or emitting that condensed quantum of time.

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