Home  »  Volume XVII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART II  »  § 25. Historians of the Latest Period

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.

XV. Later Historians

§ 25. Historians of the Latest Period

Of the men in this group not one rejected the dogma of the supremacy of accuracy, but in varying degrees they cherished the notion that history should have literary merits. In all of them the new school triumphed but the old yielded slowly. It was only with Mahan and Henry Adams that style became an unconscious expression of clearly formed ideas. That it was always good is too much to assert; but at its best it was a subordinate part of the historian’s purpose. The men of this group, the most conspicuous of our recently deceased historians, all worked in constant fear of inaccuracies.