Whig history
Paul de Rapin de Thoyras’s Histoire
in Commerce, finance and statecraft

Chapter 5 is concerned with Paul de Rapin de Thoyras’s Histoire d’Angleterre (1724–27), a work which drew on Parliamentarian and Whig ideas to provide a complete history of England from the Roman invasion to the Glorious Revolution. The discussion opens by exploring the historiographical background to Rapin’s writing in Huguenot thought before moving on to look at his analysis of Tudor and Stuart history. Rapin, it is argued, adapted and developed earlier accounts in order to emphasise that a moderate form of Whig constitutionalism had a greater capacity to promote commerce and sound financial management than any absolutist alternative. The chapter concludes by examining Nicholas Tindal’s English translation of the Histoire, a rendering of the text that both popularised Rapin’s work and, through the use of paratextual material, questioned some of the historiographical assumptions on which it was based.

Commerce, finance and statecraft

Histories of England, 1600–1780

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