NOT BY FACT ALONE: Essays on the Writing and Readi by John Clive

NOT BY FACT ALONE: Essays on the Writing and Readi

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A collection of 27 keen pieces dealing with historians and their readers. Clive (History and Literature/Harvard) is best known for his biography of Macaulay (Macaulay: The Shaping of the Historian, 1973). He has, however, also published works on Gibbon, Carlyle, and other historians, and thus one can apply to him the term he uses--"cliographer"--to denote writers about writers of history. The contents of this volume range from a relatively brief book-review of Toqueville published in 1950 in the Partisan Review to one on Michelet that appeared a mere year and a half ago in the New Republic. In between, there are lengthy articles from learned journals, an introduction, an address, a radio talk, and other book reviews. Across this assemblage of items culled from nearly 40 years of scholarly work, Clive's major focus emerges clearly: the great Victorian historians, such as Macaulay and Carlyle; their predecessor, Gibbon; and their contemporaries in France, e.g., Toqueville and Michelet. At the same time, he offers comments on writers from Herodotus down to HalÇvy and other recent practitioners of the art of history, although he overlooks such major figures as Vico and Hegel. Still, Clive's appreciations of popular narrative historians from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries are eloquent, sensitive, and admirably well informed. His is a work full of valuable commentary on modern historiography, seen from a predominantly literary perspective.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1989
ISBN: 394-48953-5
Publisher: Knopf
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