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Historical and Political Essays   By: (1838-1903)

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Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected in this text. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.

HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL ESSAYS

by

WILLIAM EDWARD HARTPOLE LECKY

Longmans, Green, and Co. 39 Paternoster Row, London New York, Bombay, and Calcutta 1908 All rights reserved

CONTENTS

PAGE THOUGHTS ON HISTORY 1

THE POLITICAL VALUE OF HISTORY 21

THE EMPIRE: ITS VALUE AND ITS GROWTH 43

IRELAND IN THE LIGHT OF HISTORY 68

FORMATIVE INFLUENCES 90

CARLYLE'S MESSAGE TO HIS AGE 104

ISRAEL AMONG THE NATIONS 116

MADAME DE STAËL 131

THE PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE OF SIR ROBERT PEEL 151

THE FIFTEENTH EARL OF DERBY 200

MR. HENRY REEVE 242

DEAN MILMAN 249

QUEEN VICTORIA AS A MORAL FORCE 275

OLD AGE PENSIONS 298

INDEX 319

The Essays 'Thoughts on History,' 'Formative Influences,' 'Madame de Staël,' 'Israel among the Nations,' 'Old age Pensions,' appeared originally in the American Review, the Forum the first under the title of 'The Art of Writing History'; 'Ireland in the Light of History,' in the North American Review . Those on Sir Robert Peel, Mr. Henry Reeve, and Dean Milman were written for the Edinburgh Review . The Essay on 'Queen Victoria as a Moral Force' appeared first in the Pall Mall Magazine ; 'Carlyle's Message to His Age' in the Contemporary Review . 'The Political Value of History' was a presidential address delivered before the Birmingham and Midland Institute; 'The Empire,' an inaugural address delivered at the Imperial Institute; and the 'Memoir of the Fifteenth Earl of Derby' was originally prefixed to the volumes of his speeches and addresses.

HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL ESSAYS

THOUGHTS ON HISTORY

I do not propose in this paper to enter into any general inquiry about the best method of writing history. Such inquiries appear to me to be of no real value, for there are many different kinds of history which should be written in many different ways. A diplomatic, a military, or a parliamentary history, dealing with a short period or a particular episode, must evidently be treated in a very different spirit from an extended history where the object of the historian should be to describe the various aspects of the national life, and to trace through long periods of time the ultimate causes of national progress and decay. The history of religion, of art, of literature, of social and industrial development, of scientific progress, have all their different methods. A writer who treats of some great revolution that has transformed human affairs should deal largely in retrospect, for the most important part of his task is to explain the long course of events that prepared and produced the catastrophe; while a writer who treats of more normal times will do well to plunge rapidly into his theme... Continue reading book >>




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