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The Age of the Reformation   By: (1880-1941)

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New York Henry Holt and Company

American Historical Series General Editor Charles H. Haskins Professor of History in Harvard University

Copyright, 1920 by Henry Holt and Company



The excuse for writing another history of the Reformation is the need for putting that movement in its proper relations to the economic and intellectual revolutions of the sixteenth century. The labor of love necessary for the accomplishment of this task has employed most of my leisure for the last six years and has been my companion through vicissitudes of sorrow and of joy. A large part of the pleasure derived from the task has come from association with friends who have generously put their time and thought at my disposal. First of all, Professor Charles H. Haskins, of Harvard, having read the whole in manuscript and in proof with care, has thus given me the unstinted benefit of his deep learning, and of his ripe and sane judgment. Next to him the book owes most to my kind friend, the Rev. Professor William Walker Rockwell, of Union Seminary, who has added to the many other favors he has done me a careful revision of Chapters I to VIII, Chapter XIV, and a part of Chapter IX. Though unknown to me personally, the Rev. Dr. Peter Guilday, of the Catholic University of Washington, consented, with gracious, characteristic urbanity, to read Chapters VI and VIII and a part of Chapter I. I am grateful to Professor N. S. B. Gras, of the University of Minnesota, for reading that part of the book directly concerned with economics (Chapter XI and a part of Chapter X); and to Professor Frederick A. Saunders, of Harvard, for a like service in technical revision of the section on science in Chapter XII. While acknowledging with hearty thanks the priceless services of these eminent scholars, it is only fair to relieve them of all responsibility for any rash statements that may have escaped their scrutiny, as well as for any conclusions from which they might dissent.

For information about manuscripts and rare books in Europe my thanks are due to my kind friends: Mr. P. S. Allen, Librarian of Merton College, Oxford, the so successful editor of Erasmus's Epistles; and Professor Carrington Lancaster, of Johns Hopkins University. To several libraries I owe much for the use of books. My friend, Professor Robert S. Fletcher, Librarian of Amherst College, has often sent me volumes from that excellent store of books. My sister, Professor Winifred Smith, of Vassar College, has added to many loving services, this: that during my four years at Poughkeepsie, I was enabled to use the Vassar library. For her good offices, as well as for the kindness of the librarian, Miss Amy Reed, my thanks. My father, the Rev. Dr. Henry Preserved Smith, professor and librarian at Union Theological Seminary, has often sent me rare books from that library; nor can I mention this, the least of his favors, without adding that I owe to him much both of the inspiration to follow and of the means to pursue a scholar's career. My thanks are also due to the libraries of Columbia and Cornell for the use of books. But the work could not easily have been done at all without the facilities offered by the Harvard Library. When I came to Cambridge to enjoy the riches of this storehouse, I found the great university not less hospitable to the stranger within her gates than she is prolific in great sons. After I was already deep in debt to the librarian, Mr. W. C. Lane, and to many of the professors, a short period in the service of Harvard, as lecturer in history, has made me feel that I am no longer a stranger, but that I can count myself, in some sort, one of her citizens and foster sons, at least a dimidiatus alumnus.

This book owes more to my wife than even she perhaps quite realizes... Continue reading book >>

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