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Was He One of Them?

J.G.A. Pocock, 23 February 1995

Edward Gibbon: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vols I-VI 
edited by David Womersley.
Allen Lane, 1114 pp., £75, November 1994, 0 7139 9124 0
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... David Womersley’s massive and elegant edition of Gibbon is the better timed because it comes a century after the edition scholars have been obliged to use as the nearest to a critical text. It was in 1896 that J.B. Bury brought out the first volume of his edition, which he reissued in 1909 and which until now has been considered standard ...

The Ironist

J.G.A. Pocock: Gibbon under Fire, 14 November 2002

Gibbon and the ‘Watchmen of the Holy City’: The Historian and His Reputation 1776-1815 
by David Womersley.
Oxford, 452 pp., £65, January 2002, 0 19 818733 5
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... controversy by whose lurid light his subsequent work was prejudged and has been judged ever since. David Womersley – now Warton Professor of English Literature at Oxford – stands at the head of those scholars who try to situate Gibbon in his 18th-century context, thus raising and trying to answer many questions, of which that just framed is central to ...

‘I’m coming, my Tetsie!’

Freya Johnston: Samuel Johnson’s Shoes, 9 May 2019

Samuel Johnson 
edited by David Womersley.
Oxford, 1344 pp., £95, May 2018, 978 0 19 960951 2
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... was a disaster. Only a few pupils ever turned up, among them the future theatrical superstar David Garrick, one of whose earliest comic turns was to impersonate Johnson’s ‘tumultuous and awkward fondness’ for his wife, ‘running round the bed after she had lain down, and crying “I’m coming, my Tetsie, I’m coming, my Tetsie!”’ Boswell ...

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