The Dawn of the Constitution: Or, the Reigns of Henry III and Edward I (A.D. 1216-137)

The Dawn of the Constitution: Or, the Reigns of Henry III and Edward I (A.D. 1216-137)

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The Dawn of the Constitution: Or, the Reigns of Henry III and Edward I (A.D. 1216-137)

The Dawn of the Constitution: Or, the Reigns of Henry III and Edward I (A.D. 1216-137)

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In giving to the public another instalment of my History, I trust that it may be found no less useful than the preceding portions, and that it will meet with no less friendly a reception. I continue to write not in any partizan spirit, nor to further or combat any particular views, but to provide those desirous of knowing the cardinal facts of English history with a consecutive and verified narrative, based on the original authorities, with the help of all modern lights and interpretations. The marginal references will enable investigators to test my facts at every step, while giving specialists starting points for further research. In my humble opinion unverified histories, where the reader has to put his trust wholly in the writer, can never adequately meet the demand for historical information. I follow the lead of Gibbon, Freeman, Stubbs and all the best German scholars.

The question has been mooted whether History should be considered a science or an art. Truthful presentation of facts should be the primary object of the historical writer; but as History can never except within very narrow limits rise to the position of an exact science, it would seem a pity to deprecate the artistic touch, to which it must always owe half its interest and more than half its charm. Brilliant writing may not be within the powers of every pen. But the essence of literary art is "style," and the end of "style" has been well laid down as "precision, veracity of utterance, truth to the thing to be presented." Yet again considerable art may be shown in the marshalling of facts, so as to exhibit the logical sequence of events, without sinking to the bare annalistic record on the one hand, or on the other hand puzzling the reader by alternate anticipations and retrospections. I trust that with its marginal and other dates my chronology will be found clear and easy to follow.

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