Tag Archives: author
Eminent Spirits Appear to Wilford Woodruff (articles on most of those who appeared)
Thomas Macaulay was known in his century for his literary works, his character and principles, and his quick grasp of public questions. While in India he supported freedom of the press and established the legal equality of Europeans and natives; he also instigated a system of national education. He helped millions of Indians who had suffered for generation under the corrupt policies of the East Indies Company and tried to undo much of the wrongs perpetrated upon India.
From the stories he [Washington Irving] learned as a young boy, we have the story of George Washington and the cherry tree and others. The conscience of a historian and the love of legend combined to create stories full of humor and vividness. He lifted American literature and sent it on the road to greatness.
The first great British writer of the romantic school, Sir Walter Scott was the first writer to turn the thoughts and hearts of his Scottish countrymen towards their heritage and the middle ages. After reading his historical novels, people felt proud of their ancestry and their homeland. Goethe called Scott “The first novelist of the century.”
His work had become his life and in so doing he fulfilled his destiny. Of this destiny Gibbon states: “Without engaging in a metaphysical (spiritual) or rather verbal dispute, I know by experience that from my early youth I aspired to the character of an historian.” Sensing his foreordained mission, Gibbon’s greatness was poured into his book.
As surely as Robert Browning determined in boyhood to give his life to poetry, so did Edward Gibbon determine to devote his to history…. By temperament he was born to record history. It is therefore … no marvel that the end-product was the most magnificent single historical work in the English tongue.
Thomas Macaulay wrote in the 1800s that Johnson was “more intimately known to posterity than other men are known their contemporaries.” He produced the first English dictionary, using writers from the Elizabethan era as a measuring rod. His hope was to stabilize the English language, giving it order and consistency. His work was not limited to defining and describing words. He was also widely known and influential as a moralist.
A pauper in his time and a beloved legend in ours, he wrote a number of enduring literary works. Among his most noted works are the poem “The Deserted Village”, the play She Stoops to Conquer’’, and the novel The Vicar of Wakefield. He portrays in the novel the strengths of home, a humorous view of life, and the highest and enduring principles of human relations. Also reflected in its pages are the virtues of benevolence and faith.