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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 118



113 AN ART OF HISTORY. methods of reading. And, whether there is or is not a science of History, and I believe that in the reasonable and intelligible sense of the word there is such a science, there is, I am sure, an art of writing History and an art of reading it ; and the educational use of it is an exemplification of the art. According to this, the reader or the writer may set before himself two opposite ideas ; he may either wish to produce a historical statue or group of statuary, we may say, or he may wish to produce a historical picture. In the former case he has to look out his materials first, then to construct from the careful view of them an idea or model of the object which he desires to reproduce, and then to work out his idea. It is necessary for him to look at his subject all round, to finish it off completely at every point, and, while seeking for statuesque unity and perfection, to make truth and reality the first object. Everything that in the remotest way bears upon the history of the person or institution that he is describing, has its special value; original sources, the verdict of other historians, tradition, popular conceptions, poetic idealising ; the place which his object has occupied in the development of historical life, the results which historical experience has produced or may have produced upon the object; every species of illustration derivable from archaeology, genealogy, law, morals, and religious history, will have to be ransacked. The result will then, if the writer has chosen his subject well, and with a due estimate of his own powers, be an artistic unity, a perfect image, true to its author's idea, and, if he has not let his own idea prejudice him in the manipulation of his materials, true to the reality, so far as the reality can be discovered. It is of course in the life-like portraiture of great men that success of this sort is most frequently achieved, for it is in the realising of grand character that the strength


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