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of Oliver Cromwell to absolute power. In reading Clarendon's history, the standpoint of the author should be borne carefully in mind. The work has decided merits, however, notwithstanding the partisanship of the author.
WASHINGTON IRVING (1783–1859), a native of New York, is probably the most genial and graceful writer America has thus far produced. His “Sketch Book,” “Tales of a Traveler,” “ Bracebridge Hall,” “Life of Washington,” “Life and Voyages of Columbus,” are his most important works. The tendency of his writings is to please, refine, and elevate. Then, too, they are adapted to all ages and conditions, to every stage of development, and to every state of mind. Few authors of any age, or any country, have afforded more genuine pleasure by their writings than Washington Irving.
WILLIAM EDWARD HARTPOLE LECKY (1838), a native of Ireland, has attained a decided renown within the last few years by his “History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe,” “History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne,” “England in the Eighteenth Century,” of which four volumes have appeared. While many will not concur in all Mr. Lecky's views, no impartial reader can fail to admire the varied learning and the vigorous style that characterize his works.
Dr. John LINGARD (1771–1851) is principally known by his “History of England,” in which the subject is treated from the Catholic standpoint. Dr. Lingard is one of the most enlightened and impartial of the Catholic historians, and his work still retains an honorable place in our literature.
Thomas BABINGTON MACAULAY (1800–1859) was a native of Rotbley Temple, Leicestershire, England, and was educated at the University of Cambridge. No man in this century has made a deeper impression upon the literature of the English tongue. It is principally by his essays and his
History of England” that his name and memory will be preserved in all ages of our literature. His “History of England” properly commences at the accession of James II, 1685. His death prevented the completion of his work, which was designed to include the reign of George III. Unfortunately, it does not extend beyond the reign of William III. Macaulay filled several positions of honor and distinction, and in 1857 he was created a peer, with the title of Baron Macaulay of Rothley. A biography of Macaulay, by his nephew, Mr. Trevelyan, appeared a few years ago, and is probably the most fascinating work of the kind that has been produced since the time of Boswell and Lockhart. An extended estimate of Macaulay's position as a writer would far exceed the limits of this sketch. An accurate impression of his style may be formed from the extracts in this volume, and it is hoped that they will induce the student to read the writings of Macaulay for himself. Whatever may be said of his partisanship, no author in our language is better qualified to instill into the student a genuine love of historical reading, for no writer more completely captivates the taste and the imagination of his readers.
John B. McMASTER, the latest American historian, has speedily won an enviable renown by his “ History of the People of the United States," of which the first volume has thus far appeared. His work has been received with cordial approbation by many capable critics.
FRANÇOIS AUGUSTE MARIE MIGNET (1796), one of the most distinguished French historians, is principally known by his excellent “ History of the French Revolution,” from which the extract describing the causes of the French Revolution is taken, as well as the reflections upon Napoleon's career, and the description of his first overthrow in 1814.
THEODOR MOMMSEN (1817), one of the leading German historians and scholars, and professor in the University of
Berlin, is best known in America by his “History of Rome, a work characterized by the true German spirit of patient research and intense labor.
JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY (1814–1877), a native of Massachusetts, stands in the front rank of American historians. Mr. Motley devoted his talents to the history of the Low Countries, as his contemporary Prescott selected for the exercise of his powers the great epochs of Spanish history. Motley's principal works are, “The Rise of the Dutch Republic,” “ The History of the United Netherlands,” and the “Life of John van Barneveld.” His style is inferior to that of Prescott in ease and grace, but his works are pervaded by decided care, patient research, and sobriety of judgment. Motley occupied several honorable positions, such as United States Minister to Austria, and to England. A “Life of Motley” has recently been published by Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Colonel W. F. P. NAPIER (1785–1860), of the British army, was the author of "The History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France.” His work is one of the finest specimens of military history ever produced, and still retains the reputation to which its eminent merits so thoroughly entitle it.
Sir FRANCIS PALGRAVE (1788–1861) was the author of the “Anglo-Saxon Commonwealth,” and a “History of Normandy and England." Both are works of great value and solid learning
CHARLES PEARSON, the author of “England in the Early and Middle Ages,” is an Englishman by birth, and is Professor of History in the University of Melbourne, in Australia. Professor Pearson's history is thus far little known in America, but its great merit is fully appreciated by competent scholars in England. His work is a most valuable contribution to our knowledge of early English history,
WILLIAM HICKLING PRESCOTT (1796-1859), a native of Massachusetts, is, in our judgment, the greatest master of historical composition America has thus far produced. In consequence of an injury received while a student of Harvard University, he was in great measure deprived of the use of his eyes, and during his literary career he had to contend with this serious disadvantage. His principal works are “ History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella,” “History of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico," the “Conquest of Peru,” as well as various essays, critical and biographical. He also edited Robertson's “Charles V," and commenced a “Life of Philip II ” of Spain, which he did not live to complete. The subject of Spanish bistory, which be chose as his own, afforded Prescott an admirable field for the exercise of his high powers of narration and description. In these respects no American historian has equaled him, and few in any country have surpassed him. While he excelled in brilliancy of style, he was not lacking in painstaking, scrupulous research. Few writers of so great merit have displayed such diffidence and modesty. “Prescott's Life” was published in 1864 by his friend George Ticknor, the historian of Spanish literature.
LEOPOLD VON RANKE (1795) is one of the most prolific historians that even Germany has produced. An enumeration of his works would require almost a catalogue. Among them may be named “History of the Popes,” “History of the Reformation,” “Life of Wallenstein,” and “History of England, principally in the Seventeenth Century.” His industry, learning, and research are immense, nor do they seem to abate with advancing years.
Dr. WILLIAM ROBERTSON (1721-1793), a contemporary of Hume and Gibbon, was a native of Scotland, and a minister of the Scottish Church. His principal works are a “History of Scotland during the Reigns of Mary and James VI” “History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V,”
and a “History of America.” Although Robertson's works have been somewhat superseded by later researches, they are still valuable, and are, in every respect, dignified, dispassionate, and accurate, according to the knowledge of his time. His style is somewhat stiff and formal, and is occasionally marred by Scotticisms.
Dr. WILLIAM SMITH (1813) is well known in England and America by his series of classical dictionaries and his valuable “ Dictionary of the Bible.” He is also the author of a “History of Greece," and the editor of numerous classical text-books, an “English Latin Dictionary,” etc.
WILLIAM STIRLING (1818), a native of Scotland, is the author of the “Cloister Life of the Emperor Charles V,” and of several other works devoted to art and literature. Stirling is highly commended by Prescott, a most capable judge in all matters relating to the history of Charles V.
WILLIAM STUBBS, Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford, is the author of a “Constitutional History of England,” which seems to be superseding all similar treatises. His “Charters” are also publications of great value to the student of English history. His illustrious friend Mr. Edward A. Freeman has styled him “the first of living scholars.”
NOTE TO TEACHERS.-Teachers who desire more extensive information respecting these authors are advised to consult the following works : Allibone's “ Dictionary of Authors,” Morley's “First Sketch of English Literature,” Morley's “ Tables of English Literature,” Chambers's “Cyclopædia of English Literature,” Duyckinck's “ Cyclopædia of American Literature,” Appletons' “Cyclopædia,” or the “Encyclopædia Britannica."
Teachers who desire to consult additional historical authorities are referred to Professor C. K. Adams's “Manual of Historical Literature," and to “Methods of Teaching and Studying History," edited by Professor G. Stanley Hall.