England in the Eighteenth Century

By J. H. Plumb | Go to book overview

FURTHER READING LIST

THERE is no adequate bibliography of English eighteenth-century history, but within the next year or two the Royal Society will be publishing a volume on the same lines as its invaluable Tudor and Stuart bibliographies. Until then students wishing to explore any aspect of eighteenth-century bibliography should consult the Subject Index of the London Library( 1909, 1923, 1938).

The best general history of the period is W. E. H. Lecky History of England in the Eighteenth Century (Cabinet edition, 1899- 1901), in spite of its strong Whig bias and its shortcomings in economic history. The Oxford History of England will devote two volumes to this period but so far only one, Basil Williams, The Whig Supremacy, 1714-60 ( 1939), has been published. The gap can be filled by the more recent work of the distinguished German scholar, Erich Eyck, Pitt versus Fox, Father and Son, ( 1950). A shorter introduction to the period is provided by Sir Charles Grant Robertson , England under the Hanoverians ( 1911), but by far the best brief survey is to be found in the chapter, "The Historical Background", in Vol. X of Sir William Holdsworth History of English Laws ( 1938), a masterpiece in miniature, buried in this vast and important work.

Since Arnold Toynbee published his Lectures on the Industrial Revolution in England ( 1884) generations of scholars have devoted themselves to the elucidation of the problems caused by the rapid changes in English social and economic life of the eighteenth century. Fortunately Professor T. S. Ashton has summarised a lifetime's study and research in his Industrial Revolution ( 1949), a book of rare insight and profound learning. The Industrial Revolution, a Study in Bibliography ( 1937), also by Professor Ashton, is an indispensable guide to the immense literature of the subject. Other excellent surveys have been written by C. R. Fay, Great Britain from Adam Smith to the Present Day ( 1928), H. L. Beales, The Industrial Revolution ( 1928), A. Redford, The Economic History of England, 1760-1860 ( 1931), and a longer and more detailed treatment is provided by the great French scholar Paul Mantoux, TheIndustrial Revolution in the Eighteenth Century

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