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

§ 59. Sir Theodore Martin

A biographer of royalty, also, was Sir Theodore Martin, whose Life of the Prince Consort (1875–80), undertaken by queen Victoria’s desire, is founded largely on original papers, in part of great value for diplomatic history. Martin, who, while an active lawyer, was one of the most accomplished as well as one of the most versatile men of letters of his times—essayist, poetic translator and parodist—also wrote, besides an early memoir of his comrade in satire, William Edmonstoune Aytoun, a Life of Lord Lyndhurst (1883) and a memoir of his own adored wife, the great and beautiful actress best known by her maiden name Helen Faucit (1900).

The Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury (1860–76) by Walter Farquhar Hook, dean of Chichester, and previously vicar of Leeds, form a characteristic memorial of the evening “leisure” of a long life devoted to the service of the church whose entire history is surveyed in this long series of volumes. An even greater success than that obtained by this series, though partly of the mixed kind which does not make for edification, attended the publication of lord Campbell’s Lives of the Lord Chancellors (1846–7) and Lives of the Lord Chief Justices of England (1849–57). The Lives of Lord Lyndhurst and Lord Brougham, which followed (1860), filled the cup of remonstrance to over-flowing. [The life of Lyndhurst had, as was just seen, to be, more or less adequately, written over again by another hand; as for Brougham, he had found time to add to his innumerable literary offspring his own Life and Times, which was published posthumously (1871).] Far more attractive, though their humour is by no means devoid of occasional causticity, are the pen-and-ink portraits of the Scottish bench and bar in the first quarter of the century published in Memorials of His Time (1856), by lord Cockburn, biographer of lord Jeffrey (1852).