previous next

He was less of an artist, however, than Prescott, the eldest and in some ways the finest figure of the well-known Prescott-Motley-Parkman group of Boston historians. All of these men, together with their friend George Ticknor, who wrote the History of Spanish literature and whose own Life and letters pictures a whole generation, had the professional advantages of inherited wealth, and the opportunity to make deliberate choice of a historical field which offered freshness and picturesqueness of theme. All were tireless workers in spite of every physical handicap; all enjoyed social security and the rich reward of full recognition by their contemporaries. They had their world as in their time, as Chaucer makes the Wife of Bath say of herself, and it was a pleasant world to live in.

Grandson of “Prescott the brave” of Bunker Hill, and son of the rich Judge Prescott of Salem, William Hickling Prescott was born in 1796, and was graduated from Harvard in 1814. An accident in college destroyed the sight of one eye, and left him but a precarious use of the other. Nevertheless he resolved to emulate Gibbon, whose Autobiography had impressed him, and to make himself “an historian in the best sense of the term.” He

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Salem (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William Hickling Prescott (4)
George Ticknor (1)
Francis Parkman (1)
J. L. Motley (1)
Gibbon (1)
Chaucer (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1814 AD (1)
1796 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: