The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

II. Historians, Biographers and Political Orators

§ 37. Andrew Lang

The last Scottish historian whose name calls for mention here is Andrew Lang, whose recent death (1912) put an end to an almost unexampled continuous flow of varied literary work. It is, perhaps, as a historian, in a broad sense of the term, that he will be best remembered. His gift of narrative stood him in good stead even with so wide a canvas as that of his History of Scotland from the Roman Occupation (1890–7), which he lived to complete, though it was hardly carried out with the requisite sustained power. On the other hand, he excelled in the historical monograph, where his great and, perhaps, most notable critical gift had full play; and, if there was an element of “mystery” in the subject of his story, he felt most thoroughly at home in it. Like Scott, whom, as himself a child of the Border, he loved with his whole heart, he was irresistibly drawn to the lost causes of history—above all, to the Stewart cause; but his critical acumen rarely deserted him in any field, and, while he was deeply versed in mythology, his footing was sure on the doubtful ground between history and legend, and his own favourite among his innumerable productions was his Life and Death of Jeanne D’Arc (1908).