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European History Commons

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English Language and Literature

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University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Full-Text Articles in European History

Forging Literary History: Historical Fiction And Literary Forgery In Eighteenth-Century Britain, Anne H. Stevens Jan 2008

Forging Literary History: Historical Fiction And Literary Forgery In Eighteenth-Century Britain, Anne H. Stevens

English Faculty Publications

In this essay, I wish to explore a similar dialectic of historical positivism and skepticism in eighteenth-century Britain. Over the course of the century, but particularly in the second half, new and more scientific standards of historical investigation developed, with practitioners expressing a greater confidence about their ability to know the past. During these years, a series of monumental achievements in historiography appeared: David Hume’s History of England (1754–62), Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776), and William Robertson’s History of Scotland (1759), to name just three of the most celebrated. As part ...