The Reconfiguration of Eighteenth-Century Scottish Historiography: Dialogues Between the Present and the Past

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Martini, Ronald John




Changes occurred to the writing of History in eighteenth-century Scotland. Dissatisfied with traditional historical priorities Scottish historians changed the focus of their writing to reflect what was more relevant to contemporary sensibilities, giving new importance to the social aspects of daily life, the inward life of the sentiments, and the history of manners. This refocusing of historical emphasis was a response to a vibrant commercial society, to the era's social interests, to the period's predilection for delicate sensibilities and refined feelings, and to a burgeoning middle class. One of these new genres of historical writing was called conjectural history. This study discusses conjectural history, it asks a methodological question, and it looks at several different examples of the historical genres being written at this time.


European History




Carleton University

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