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Studies in Contemporary Biography   By: (1838-1922)

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Author of 'The Holy Roman Empire,' 'The American Commonwealth', etc.

London Macmillan and Co., Limited New York: The Macmillan Company 1903

All rights reserved

Copyright in the United States of America 1903


CHARLES WILLIAM ELIOT President of Harvard University



The first and the last of these Studies relate to persons whose fame has gone out into all lands, and about whom so much remains to be said that one who has reflected on their careers need not offer an apology for saying something. Of the other eighteen sketches, some deal with eminent men whose names are still familiar, but whose personalities have begun to fade from the minds of the present generation. The rest treat of persons who came less before the public, but whose brilliant gifts and solid services to the world make them equally deserve to be remembered with honour. Having been privileged to enjoy their friendship, I have felt it a duty to do what a friend can to present a faithful record of their excellence which may help to keep their memory fresh and green.

These Studies are, however, not to be regarded as biographies, even in miniature. My aim has rather been to analyse the character and powers of each of the persons described, and, as far as possible, to convey the impression which each made in the daily converse of life. All of them, except Lord Beaconsfield, were personally, and most of them intimately, known to me.

In the six Studies which treat of politicians I have sought to set aside political predilections, and have refrained from expressing political opinions, though it has now and then been necessary to point out instances in which the subsequent course of events has shown the action of Lord Beaconsfield, Mr. Lowe, and Mr. Gladstone to have been right or wrong (as the case may be) in the action they respectively took.

The sketches of T. H. Green, E. A. Freeman, and J. R. Green were originally written for English magazines, and most of the other Studies have been published in the United States. All of those that had already appeared in print have been enlarged and revised, some indeed virtually rewritten. I have to thank the proprietors of the English Historical Review , the Contemporary Review , and the New York Nation , as also the Century Company of New York, for their permission to use so much of the matter of the volume as had appeared (in its original form) in the organs belonging to them respectively.

March 6, 1903.


Page I. Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield 1804 1881 1 II. Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Dean of Westminster 1815 1881 69 III. Thomas Hill Green 1836 1882 85 IV. Archibald Campbell Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury 1811 1882 100 V. Anthony Trollope 1815 1882 116 VI. John Richard Green 1837 1883 131 VII. Sir George Jessel 1824 1883 170 VIII. Hugh M'Calmont Cairns, Earl Cairns 1819 1885 184 IX. James Fraser, Bishop of Manchester 1818 1885 196 X. Stafford Henry Northcote, Earl of Iddesleigh 1818 1887 211 XI. Charles Stewart Parnell 1846 1891 227 XII. Henry Edward Manning, Archbishop and Cardinal 1808 1892 250 XIII. Edward Augustus Freeman 1823 1892 262 XIV. Robert Lowe, Viscount Sherbrooke 1811 1892 293 XV... Continue reading book >>

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