Lectures on Modern History

Lectures on Modern History

Lectures on Modern History

Lectures on Modern History

Excerpt

It was announced in February 1895 that John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton, had been appointed to the Chair of Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge in succession to the late Sir John Seeley, who had held the office for upwards of a quarter of a century. Of the achievements of Acton's six years' tenure of the post, the present volume, together with that forthcoming on the French Revolution, will form the chief, though not the only monument. To those who found in the teaching of the late Professor inspiration as well as knowledge, the Lectures now published will serve at once to heighten and to relieve the sense, still so fresh, of personal loss. To the many friends and scholars who had known him in other spheres or for a longer space, they will be a fitting memorial of Acton's greatness in the realm of his unchallenged pre-eminence Of all the previous occupants of the chair none is to be named with Acton for a career unique in interest, variety, and pathos.

Pathos indeed there was. The note was struck in the first phrases of the Inaugural Lecture. It was perhaps not unfitting that the severest rebuke to Anglican intolerance in the past should come from a man whose indignation knew no measure for the spirit of persecution within his own communion. Throughout those years at . . .

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