John Lothrop Motley: Representative Selections

John Lothrop Motley: Representative Selections

John Lothrop Motley: Representative Selections

John Lothrop Motley: Representative Selections

Excerpt

As John Lothrop Motley is properly placed in the category of "literary" historians--that is, those writers whose work has value both for the student of belles-lettres and for the student of history--the general editor felt obliged to draft the services of two editors in the preparation of this volume, one from the field of history, the other from the field of American literature. To Professor Higby was assigned the responsibility of making the selections from Motley's three major historical works and of writing that portion of the Introduction which treats of Motley's work as a historian and as a diplomat. It was the province of Mr. Schantz to make the selections from the correspondence, the novels, and the other minor works, as well as to write those sections of the Introduction which deal with the literary apprenticeship, the literary theory, and the political and social views of Motley.

It has been the purpose of the editors, in the critical introduction, to explain Motley in terms of the genetic interrelations of his political, social, religious, and literary theories, and of his work as a diplomat and historian; to demonstrate that the various phases of his activity form coherent parts of a consistent whole. The task has been the more difficult because the writings of Motley have been subjected to but little critical examination of a close scholarly nature. The definitive biography remains to be written.

In determining the choice of representative selections from the writings of Motley, the editors perforce laid the principal emphasis upon the three major historical works, The Rise of the Dutch Republic, History of the United Netherlands, and The Life and Death of John of Barneveld. But they were guided in part by the fact that many of the minor works are not easily . . .

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