Samuel Rawson Gardiner and the Idea of History

February 2011
220 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
ISBN: 9780861933105
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Royal Historical Society
BISAC HIS037030, HIS016000, HIS015000

Samuel Rawson Gardiner and the Idea of History

Mark Nixon

A study of an eminent historian of seventeenth-century Britain and his work, showing its continued importance for all those working on the period.
Samuel Rawson Gardiner [1829-1902] is the colossus of seventeenth-century historiography. His twenty-volume history of Britain from 1603 to 1656 and his many editions of key texts still serve to underpin almost all study of the Civil Wars and of the Commonwealth and Protectorate. Yet, despite his importance, his work has often been reduced by historians of historiography to simple caricature, in which his personal politics and his denominational allegiances got the better of his worthy empiricism. This book seeks to challenge the inadequate view of him and his work, offering a rich contextualisation by locating his writings within a wide range of literary and philosophical milieux, British and continental European. In so doing it not only suggests new ways of looking at Victorian historiography in general, but also proposes a new approach to the growing history of historical writing.

Mark Nixon is an independent scholar and museum curator.

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Table of Contents

Appendix: The published writings of S. R. Gardiner


A lively and interesting discussion. . [It] is a valuable contribution not only to the study of Gardiner and of nineteenth-century historiography, but also to Gardiner's period, the age of the early Stuarts and of the Puritan Revolution. INTELLECTUAL HISTORY REVIEW

A significant reappraisal of Gardiner [and] a much more subtle and complex portrait than that conventionally offered. [...] This is a compelling first book based squarely on impressive research. CLIO

Author Bio

Independent scholar and museum curator

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