“THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT STUDY TO EMBRACE ALL OF ENGLISH HISTORY”
HUME, David. The History of England. Oxford: Published by William Pickering, London; and Talboys and Wheeler, Oxford, 1826. Eight volumes. Octavo, 20th-century three-quarter red morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers.
Handsomely bound set of Hume’s history, illustrated with over 30 engraved portraits.
“This work has enjoyed the rank of a classic in historical literature from the day of its completion to the present time. In point of clearness, elegance, and simplicity of style it has never been surpassed” (Adams). First published between 1754 and 1761, Hume’s History of England was “the first significant study to embrace all of English history and the first broad historical survey in English that properly rates as a work of literature… Hume was the first historian to consider such things as manners, commerce, finance, and arts and sciences at length and the first to give them in some cases greater importance than kings and battles” (Day). “His literary ability made the book incomparably superior to the diluted party pamphlets or painful compilations which had hitherto passed for history… His brief remarks upon the social and economical conditions of the time were then an original addition to mere political history. The dignity and clearness of the style are admirable. The book thus became, as it long continued to be, the standard history of England, and has hardly been equaled in literary merit” (DNB). Originally published in six volumes (1754-62), it was “for over a century the most-read history of England… Winston Churchill called the work his ‘boyhood’s manual” (Baugh, 1084-85).
Scattered foxing, very infrequent faint marginal dampstaining. A very handsomely bound set.