"Thus we come back to the English Enlightenment and the point from which John Pocock set out on his magnificent tour de force" Nicholas Tyacke, Times Literary Supplement
"...one admires the breadth of his erudition. Indeed, like Gibbon, [J.G.A. Pocock] is a truly enlightened historian, one who takes ideas seriously and who has no patience for those of our own age who would 'deny the reality of authors and the readability of texts.'" T.H. Breen, New York Times Book Review
"John Pocock is the doyen of contemporary intellectual historians. His eagerly awaited book is a major event in the study of Gibbon in his intellectual context." Professor John Burrow, Balliol College, Oxford
"If there is a single target of my criticism it is the concept of 'The Enlightenment,' as a unified phenomenon with a single history and definition, but the criticism is directed more against the article than against the noun. I have no quarrel with the concept of Enlightenment; I merely contend that it occurred in too many forms to be comprised within a single definition and history, and that we do better to think of a family of Enlightenments, displaying both family resemblances and family quarrels (some of them bitter and even bloody)..." --From the Introduction to Volume 1
"...an ambitious effort to examine the enlightenment through Gibbon's eyes." David Armitage, Lingua Franca
"This is a lucidly written, highly intelligent work." Greenwich, CT Time
In this first volume, The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, John Pocock follows Gibbon through his youthful exile in Switzerland and his criticisms of the Encyclopédie, and traces the growth of his historical interests down to the conception of the Decline and Fall itself.