David Hume, the second son of Joseph Hume of Ninewells, was born near Dunse, Scotland. After studying law he worked as a merchant's clerk in Bristol and traveled in France. In 1737 he came to London and the following year published his Treatise on Human Nature, which failed to gain much attention. Hume was more successful with his his Essays (1741), while his History of England, which began appearing in 1754, made his fortune. Hume was keeper of the Advocates' Library in Edinburgh (1752), served as a diplomat in France (1763-65), and was an undersecretary of state under General Conway (1767-68). In 1769 he retired to Edinburgh where he attracted controversy and conviviality.
A treatise of human nature. 2 vols, 1739.
An abstract of a Treatise of human nature. 1740.
Essays moral and political. 1741, 1742, 1748.
A letter from a gentleman to his friend containing some observations on religion and morality. 1745.
Three essays moral and political, never before published. 1748.
Philosophical essays concerning human understanding. 1748.
A true account of the behaviour and conduct of Archibald Stewart. 1748.
An enquiry concerning the principles of morals. 1751.
The petition of the Bellmen. 1751.
Political discourses. 1752.
Essays and Treatises on several subjects. 4 vols, 1753-56.
History of England. 1751-63.
Four dissertations. 1757.
Expose succinct de la contestation entre Hume et Rousseau. 1766.
Two essays. 1777.
Dialogues concerning natural religion. 1779.
Works, ed. T. H. Green and T. H. Grose. 4 vols, 1874-75.
Letters, ed. J. Y. T. Greig. 2 vols, 1932.
New Letters, ed. Raymond Klibansky and Ernest Campbell Mossner. 1954.