Gibbon and the Watchmen of the Holy City
The Historian and His Reputation, 1776-1815
By (author) David Womersley
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Gibbon and the Watchmen of the Holy City by David Womersley
Book DescriptionGibbon was unabashed in acknowledging that his career as an historian was fuelled by a desire for fame, and the success of The Decline and Fall indeed furnished him with 'a name, a rank, a character, in the World' to which he would not otherwise have been entitled. Eventually this public reputation was pleasing to him, and nourished his innocent vanity. Initially, however, it was a reputation he resented, and was determined to resist. In particular, the denunciation by the spokesmen for religious orthodoxy of Gibbon's treatment of Christianity was (so Gibbon contended) a vicious misrepresentation. The subject of this book is the story of the conflict between Gibbon and those he mockingly dubbed the 'Watchmen of the Holy City', and it explores the ramifications of an elusive aspect of authorship. By considering the sequence of interactions between the historian and his readership, Womersley makes possible a more intimate understanding of what might be called Gibbon's experience of himself. At the same time he deepens our knowledge of the conditions of English authorship during the later decades of the eighteenth and the early decades of the nineteenth centuries, from the opening of the war with the American colonies, down to the successful conclusion of the wars with revolutionary and Napoleonic France.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780198187332
(224mm x 147mm x 28mm)
Imprint: Clarendon Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 3-Jan-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author David Womersley
James II, Hardback (April 2015)
James managed, despite having access to tremendous reserves of good will and deference, to so alienate his supporters that he had to flee for his life. This title deals with his life.
Gulliver's Travels, Hardback (September 2012)
A new, more reliable and richly annotated edition of one of the most important books in English literature.
Divinity and State, Hardback (February 2010)
This book explores how the Reformation's transformation of religious belief into a political statement and the saturation of the national past with religious implications (created by the political developments of the 1530s) was reflected in sixteenth-century English historiography and historical drama, including Shakespeare's history plays.
Life of Samuel Johnson, Paperback (October 2008)» View all books by David Womersley
A biography of Samuel Johnson, one of the towering figures of English literature.
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