History and the Enlightenment

Hugh Trevor-Roper

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June 29, 2010
352 pages, 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780300139341
Cloth

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Arguably the leading British historian of his generation, Hugh Trevor-Roper (1914–2003) is most celebrated and admired as the author of essays. This volume brings together some of the most original and radical writings of his career—many hitherto inaccessible, one never before published, all demonstrating his piercing intellect, urbane wit, and gift for elegant, vivid narrative. This collection focuses on the writing and understanding of history in the eighteenth century and on the great historians and the intellectual context that inspired or provoked their writings. It combines incisive discussion of such figures as Gibbon, Hume, and Carlyle with broad sweeps of analysis and explication. Essays on the Scottish Enlightenment and the Romantic movement are balanced by intimate portraits of lesser-known historians whose significance Trevor-Roper took particular delight in revealing.

The late Hugh Trevor-Roper (Lord Dacre of Glanton) was Regius Professor of History at the University of Oxford. Among his numerous books is the best-selling The Hermit of Peking: The Hidden Life of Sir Edmund Backhouse.

Praise for Hugh Trevor-Roper’s The Invention of Scotland

“[An] indispensable book.”—Andrew O’Hagan, New York Review of Books

"In every way, this is a wonderfully intelligent and civilized book."--Michael Dirda, Washington Post

'As an essayist he was in a class of his own…. sardonic, witty, elegant and shrewd, these essays confirm his status as one of the finest writers of the last half-century.' — The Oldie

'Trevor-Roper treats abstruse clues and motives as matters for detection and clarification, and there is never a phrase of self-mystifying jargon. History and the Enlightenment is a rallying cry for those who cherish history. The reading of it left me exultant.' — Richard Davenport-Hines, Literary Review

"The pleasure afforded by these essays arises from their elegant and felicitous prose, spiced with acerbic asides."--The New York Review of Books

"This new volume will be a great boon."—Contemporary Review

"Intellectually stimulating and a delight to read."—Sunday Herald
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