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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Listings for Author:  

John Lothrop Motley


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John Lothrop Motley : The Rise of the Dutch Republic

'The historical classics "came as a revelation"- Macaulay, J.R. Green, Gibbon, Motley's Dutch Republic, Prescott on Peru and Mexico and The French Revolution. Academic critics today might discern ideologies in all of the above, but that was not Lawson's reading of them. "Of politics I knew nothing and cared less", he recalled, yet his purely literary readings had helped him form "some very definite opinions on the right and wrong of things social..."'

Century: 1850-1899 / 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Jack Lawson      Print: Book


John Lothrop Motley : The Rise of the Dutch Republic

'Barber John Paton remembered that the "Boys' Friend" "ran a serial which was an enormously exciting tale of Alba's oppression of the Netherlands, and gave as its source, 'Motley's Rise of the Dutch Republic'". He borrowed it from the public library and, with guidance from a helpful adult, also read J.R. Green, Macaulay, Prescott, Grote, and even Mommsen's multi-volume History of Rome by age fourteen. "There must have been, of course, enormous gaps in my understanding of what I poured into the rag bag that was my mind, particularly from the bigger works," he conceded, "but at least I sensed the important thing, the immense sweep and variety and the continuity of the historical process".'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: John Paton      Print: Book


John Lothrop Motley : Causes of the Civil War in America [probably]

'We are reading Motley's last, - much surprised not to like it better. It is so diffuse and sinks so very low in its Carlylisms &c.'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Harriet Martineau      


John Lothrop Motley : History of the United Netherlands

MS annotations and marginal marks incl. v.1 p.503, in reply to the author's comment "we must now throw a glance to the external", Sir George writes: "High time that you did. Seldom has so able a writer been so swamped and mastered by his materials." Describes ch. 6 as "Terribly lengthy. Such masses of extracts ... are out of place in such a book as this." V.4 p.530 in reply to the author's wish to have fostered through his work a "love of freedom of thought, of speech, and of life" Sir George writes "This is a true claim on the part of Motley, and is the prime merit of his history". "Motley on the whole has raised himself by this volume [2]. He has a fine enthusiasm for liberty and public right." "The fourth volume ... is deeply interesting, and, in some respects, better constructed and written than the other three. Welcombe. May 26. 1916". Dates of reading include: "Nov 3 1915 - Wallington" and "June 28 - with C[aroline] Wallington 1921."

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: George Otto Trevelyan      Print: Book


John Lothrop Motley : The rise of the Dutch republic: a history

MS notes and marginal marks throughout the book, in the hand of Sir George Otto Trevelyan. Dates of reading include "Sept. 21 1914 Aloud to C[aroline]"; "Dec 30 1920 with C". One note alludes to the First World War: when Motley writes of a "train of unforeseen transactions", Sir George comments: "We have enough of that just now. Aug . 31 1915".

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: George Otto Trevelyan      Print: Book


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