History Of England
The History of England (1754–61) is David Hume’s great work on the history of England, which he wrote in installments while he was a librarian to the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh. It was published in six volumes in 1754, 1756, 1759, and 1761. The first publication of his History was greeted with outrage by all political factions, but it became a best-seller, finally giving him the financial independence he had long sought. Both the British Library and the Cambridge University Library, as well as Hume’s own library, still list him as “David Hume, the historian.
History Of England Summary
The last Jacobite uprising of 1745 was a very recent memory and had come close to turning the War of the Austrian Succession into a war of the British succession. This had come as a shock to Hume. So his main concern was to legitimize the Revolution of 1688 and forestall any future insurrection. He wanted his philosophy of Government to appeal to both Whigs and former Jacobites. Perhaps this can be best understood in his 1748 essay “Of the Original Contract”. He was not an adherent of any party. In England, anti-Scottish prejudice was running high. Hume was a master of the internalized Scoticism, and even wrote a booklet about how to do it. The History of England is a classic of the genre. It helps understand Hume to re-externalize the milieu that he flourished in.
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