The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.
§ 20. Whitakers History of Manchester
Finally, John Whitaker, who plays a rather sorry part at the fag-end of the list of Gibbon’s assailants, is more worthily remembered as author of The History of Manchester. Of this he produced only the first two books (1771–5)—dealing respectively with the Roman and Roman-British, and with the English period to the foundation of the heptarchy, and, therefore, belonging in part to the domain of ancient history. Though it has been subjected to criticism at least as severe as that poured by Whitaker and others upon Gibbon’s great work, the History survives as a notable product of learning, albeit containing too large an imaginative element. Whitaker carried on the same line of research and conjecture in his Genuine History of the Britons (1772), intended as a refutation of Macpherson’s treatise on the subject. In 1794 he published The Course of Hannibal over the Alps ascertained, which has not proved the last word on the subject.