William Robertson (1721-1793) was a leading historical figure of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment and one of the triumvirate of historians, along with David Hume and Edward Gibbon, who profoundly shaped the European consciousness. His great histories of Scotland, Europe, America and India represented a steadily expanding vision of European and world history. It was a 'grand narrative' comprising the emergence of Britain, the development of the European system of independent nation states, the growth of the European empire in the Americas, and the beginnings of the European empire in India. This book, William Robertson and the Expansion of Empire, contains contributions from a number of distinguished historians and literary scholars who explore aspects of Robertson's intellectual achievements. However, particular attention is paid to Robertson's treatment of the theme of empire and European expansion.
"This splendid volume serves as a valuable corrective to the recent bicentennial emphasis on Edward Gibbon...Individually and collectively, the essays are of great value for our understanding not only of Robertson but also of important aspects of eighteenth-century literary culture. This is also a fundamental work for those interested in historiography." Jeremy Black,Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society