John Lothrop Motley. a memoir — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 87 pages of information about John Lothrop Motley. a memoir — Volume 1.
his refined and fastidious tastes were deeply gratified by the influences of his life in England, and the spontaneous kindness which he received added much to his happiness.  At that time Lord Palmerston was Prime Minister; the weekly receptions at Cambridge House were the centre of all that was brilliant in the political and social world, while Lansdowne House, Holland House, and others were open to the ‘sommites’ in all branches of literature, science, rank, and politics. . . .  It was the last year of Lord Macaulay’s life, and as a few out of many names which I recall come Dean Milman, Mr. Froude (whose review of the ‘Dutch Republic’ in the ‘Westminster’ was one of the first warm recognitions it ever received), the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, Sir William Stirling Maxwell, then Mr. Stirling of Keir, the Sheridan family in its different brilliant members, Lord Wensleydale, and many more.”

There was no society to which Motley would not have added grace and attraction by his presence, and to say that he was a welcome guest in the best houses of England is only saying that these houses are always open to those whose abilities, characters, achievements, are commended to the circles that have the best choice by the personal gifts which are nature’s passport everywhere.


1859.  AEt. 45.

Letter to Mr. Francis H. Underwood.—­Plan of Mr. Motley’s historical works.—­Second great work, “History of the united Netherlands.”

I am enabled by the kindness of Mr. Francis H. Underwood to avail myself of a letter addressed to him by Mr. Motley in the year before the publication of this second work, which gives us an insight into his mode of working and the plan he proposed to follow.  It begins with an allusion which recalls a literary event interesting to many of his American friends.

Rome, March 4, 1859.

     F. H. Underwood, ESQ.

My dear Sir,—. . .  I am delighted to hear of the great success of “The Atlantic Monthly.”  In this remote region I have not the chance of reading it as often as I should like, but from the specimens which I have seen I am quite sure it deserves its wide circulation.  A serial publication, the contents of which are purely original and of such remarkable merit, is a novelty in our country, and I am delighted to find that it has already taken so prominent a position before the reading world. . .

     The whole work [his history], of which the three volumes already
     published form a part, will be called “The Eighty Years’ War for

     Epoch I. is the Rise of the Dutch Republic.

     Epoch II.  Independence Achieved.  From the Death of William the
     Silent till the Twelve Years’ Truce. 1584-1609.

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