Religious Scepticism: Contemporary Responses to Gibbonby David Womersley (Editor)
But the debate continued long after that. Moreover, Gibbon's adversaries were more
On the publication of the first volume of The Decline and Fall in 1776 there arose a controversy which rapidly became broader than a dispute about an individual writer. Gibbon replied to his critics in the rhetorically brilliant Vindication of 1779, and then withdrew from the fray.
But the debate continued long after that. Moreover, Gibbon's adversaries were more substantial figures than he was willing to concede; and it is Gibbon's account of the dispute which has for the most part conditioned the work of later commentators. This comprehensive selection from the writings of Gibbon's adversaries, including Hume and Priestley, allows the reader to judge the critics for themselves, and so enter into one of the most important literary disputes of the eighteenth century.
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