Gibbon and the 'Watchmen of the Holy City': The Historian and his Reputation, 1776-1815

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9780198187332: Gibbon and the 'Watchmen of the Holy City': The Historian and his Reputation, 1776-1815

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 late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

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About the Author:

David Womersley is an Official Fellow and Tutor in English Literature, Jesus College, Oxford.

Review:


"Womersley has produced a signally effective study of the various processes which create an authorial reputation, assiduously demonstrating how careful documentary reconstruction can restore the rich textuality of a writer's life.... This is a major contribution not only to Gibbon scholarship but also to methodology."--Review of English Studies


"Embodies very high standards of scholarship and critical acumen.... [Womersley] has traced a story not likely to be seriously improved upon for many decades to come. --Studies in English Literature 1500-1900


"Erudite and absorbing.... David Womersley has written an important book; it greatly increases our sense of the ways in which Gibbon's self-fashioning went on within the pages of his major works.... Womersley has taken us where none have ventured before, in showing Gibbon as a Bowdler-like censor of his own ongoing productions."--Times Literary Supplement


"To appreciate Gibbon the historian, read the magisterial Decline and Fall; to know Gibbon the man behind the history, read the Memoirs and the Letters; to understand Gibbon the author, and the growth of his literary reputation, read this book by Womersley."--Virginia Quarterly Review


"This brilliant and careful work...contains much of permanent value for any student of Gibbon."--Choice


"Womersley's analyses are subtle, original, and valuable.... In addition to its value for those interested in Gibbon's work, this book is a significant contribution to the discussion of eighteenth-century controversial writing, belonging on the shelf with Joseph Levine's The Battle of the Books.--Albion


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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2002. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Gibbon 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. Codice libro della libreria APC9780198187332

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David Womersley
Editore: Oxford University Press, United Kingdom (2002)
ISBN 10: 0198187335 ISBN 13: 9780198187332
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2002. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Gibbon 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. Codice libro della libreria APC9780198187332

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