William Warburton Criticism - Essay

Quarterly Review (essay date June 1812)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Review of The Works of the Right Rev. William Warburton, D.D. Lord Bishop of Gloucester. A New Edition. To which is prefixed, a Discourse by way of General Preface; containing some Account of the Life, Writings, and Character of the Author. Quarterly Review 7 (June 1812): 382-407.

[In the following review of Richard Hurd's edition of Warburton's complete works, the anonymous reviewer discusses the highlights of Warburton's life and his principal publications.]

The learned and celebrated author of these volumes died in the year 1779. In 1788 a magnificent edition of his works, of which only 250 copies were printed, issued from the press of Mr. Nichols;...

(The entire section is 12087 words.)

A. W. Evans (essay date 1932)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Evans, A. W. “Conyers Middleton—‘The Divine Legation of Moses’—Webster's Attack.” In Warburton and the Warburtonians: A Study in Some Eighteenth-Century Controversies, pp. 48-70. London: Oxford University Press, 1932.

[In the following excerpt, Evans examines the friendship between Warburton and Middleton and the controversy surrounding Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses.]

By the publication of the Alliance, Warburton had made a successful entry into the world of letters, and was now in a position to bring himself before the notice of men of acknowledged learning and distinction. One of these was Conyers Middleton, then chief librarian at...

(The entire section is 7846 words.)

William Darby Templeman (essay date November 1953)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Templeman, William Darby. “Warburton and Brown Continue the Battle Over Ridicule.” Huntington Library Quarterly 17, no. 1 (November 1953): 17-36.

[In the following essay, Templeman recounts Warburton's part in the eighteenth-century critical controversy concerning the use of ridicule.]

William Warburton had been Bishop of Gloucester for nineteen years when he died in 1779 at the age of eighty-one. Usually thought of now primarily as an editor of Shakespeare (8 vols., 1747) and Pope (9 vols., 1751), and not very successful with either, he deserves higher recognition. He was Pope's friend and literary executor. No less a person than Edward Gibbon called him...

(The entire section is 8189 words.)

Clifton Cherpack (essay date 1955)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Cherpack, Clifton. “Warburton and the Encyclopédie.” Comparative Literature 7 (1955): 226-39.

[In the following essay, Cherpack examines Warburton's contributions to Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie, most of which were unacknowledged by the work's editors.]

One of the most vexing aspects of the systematic investigation of the Encyclopédie is the question of ultimate sources. Allusions to the problem abound; and, although much has been done in this vein since le P. Berthier had the pleasure of pointing out the eclectic redaction embodied in the first volume, the sources of many important articles, and, consequently, their function in the...

(The entire section is 6391 words.)

Robert W. Rogers (essay date 1955)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Rogers, Robert W. “Warburton and the Later Satiric Mode.” In The Major Satires of Alexander Pope, pp. 94-114. Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 1955.

[In the following excerpt, Rogers explores Warburton's relationship with Alexander Pope and considers his influence on Pope's later works.]

Judged in terms of creativity, Pope's last years were not a period of great accomplishment; they were largely devoted to the preparation and ordering of final versions of his poems. The important achievement of these years was a recasting of the Dunciad; but Pope also brought out his letters to Swift and prepared the Memoirs of Scriblerus for...

(The entire section is 11397 words.)

R. W. Greaves (essay date 1966)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Greaves, R. W. “The Working of the Alliance: A Comment on Warburton.” In Essays in Modern English Church History: In Memory of Norman Sykes, edited by G. V. Bennett and J. D. Walsh, pp. 163-80. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1966.

[In the following excerpt, Greaves discusses Warburton's essay The Alliance of Church and State.]

That rumbustious ecclesiastical and literary controversialist, William Warburton, while yet an obscure country priest residing upon his cure, and but thirty-eight years of age, produced in 1736 one of the most remarkable and influential books of the century; closely, subtly and plausibly argued, and in language which was...

(The entire section is 6447 words.)

Stephen J. Curry (essay date October 1967)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Curry, Stephen J. “The Literary Criticism of William Warburton.” English Studies 48, no. 5 (October 1967): 398-408.

[In the following essay, Curry compares Warburton's status as an important eighteenth-century literary critic with his diminished reputation in the twentieth century.]

The literary criticism of William Warburton came when the great Augustan critics had died, before the later period of Johnson, Reynolds, Hurd, and the Wartons had yet begun. These decades of the 1730's through the 1750's are valuable for the great advances in philosophy by Hume and others—studies which were later to change critical thought permanently; yet the literary...

(The entire section is 5961 words.)

Irene G. Dash (essay date 1978)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Dash, Irene G. “A Glimpse of the Sublime in Warburton's Edition of The Winter's Tale.Shakespeare Studies 11 (1978): 159-74.

[In the following essay, Dash compares Warburton's commentary on The Winter's Tale with those of his predecessors, claiming that Warburton applied the principles of Longinus's theories of the sublime to the play.]

Ironically, William Warburton, the acerbic bishop of whom John Nichols wrote, “In his youth he was a member of the debating society. It was a skill he never lost,” was the first editor of Shakespeare's Works to stress the beauties of the pastoral passages in The Winter's Tale.1...

(The entire section is 6086 words.)

Melvyn New (essay date spring 1981-82)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: New, Melvyn. “Sterne, Warburton, and the Burden of Exuberant Wit.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 15, no. 3 (spring 1981-82): 245-74.

[In the following essay, New assesses the relationship between Warburton and Laurence Sterne, maintaining that for Sterne, Warburton was the quintessential prude against whom his satire was primarily directed.]

Victimized by our own taxonomies, we have grown accustomed to the notion that with Pope's death in 1744 and Swift's the year after, Samuel Johnson took center stage and the “Age of Johnson,” as we label it in our literary histories and course catalogues, was suddenly at hand. Thus, were we to guess whose career in the...

(The entire section is 13295 words.)

Stephen Taylor (essay date April 1992)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Taylor, Stephen. “William Warburton and the Alliance of Church and State.” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 43, no. 2 (April 1992): 271-86.

[In the following essay, Taylor refutes the common critical belief that Warburton's pamphlet The Alliance between Church and State reflected the standard opinion held by most contemporary clerics.]

In January 1736 an anonymous pamphlet appeared under the title, The Alliance between Church and State, or the Necessity of an Established Religion, and a Test Law demonstrated.1 Its author was William Warburton, a well-to-do but still comparatively obscure country clergyman.2 Although this...

(The entire section is 8088 words.)

Bernice W. Kliman (essay date 1998)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Kliman, Bernice W. “Samuel Johnson and Tonson's 1745 Shakespeare: Warburton, Anonymity, and the Shakespeare Wars.” In Reading Readings: Essays on Shakespeare Editing in the Eighteenth Century, edited by Joanna Gondris, pp. 299-317. Madison N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1998.

[In the following excerpt, Kliman examines Warburton's role in the eighteenth-century competition among various literary figures to provide the definitive edition of Shakespeare's plays.]

Conjectures being the very stuff of eighteenth-century Shakespeare editing, perhaps one of my own will not be amiss. I would like to advance the idea that bookseller Jacob Tonson hired...

(The entire section is 9071 words.)