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London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1895. First edition (NCBEL v.3, 1450). Contemporary half red leather, gilt lettered and decorated, and red cloth boards, all edges gilt, by Riviere and Son, 565pp. A presentation copy: "To A.H. Huth Esq. With the Author's Compliments". Laid in is a letter, dated 4 Nov. 1895, from Robertson to Huth regarding the presentation of this volume. "I was encouraged to produce it by obtaining through the 'Free Review' a certain number of advance subscribers. It has been greatly added to since you saw the MS....and I kept your suggestions in view in revising the whole." He gives Huth some credit in the preface for the "excellent bibliography appended to (his) 'Life of Buckle'". With: "The Life and Writings of Henry Thomas Buckle" by Alfred Henry Huth, New York, D. Appleton, 1880. First American editon, complete in one volume; the first English was 2 volumes. Bound uniformly with the preceding except for marbled paper rather than cloth boards, just the top edge gilt, by Riviere and Son; 502pp., one leaf of ads. Huth's own copy, his distinctive bookplate in both volumes. Henry Thomas Buckle (1821-1862) was an historian (History of Civilisation in England, 2v., 1857 and 1861) a positivist, and a freethinker. His histories were successful but controversial. A.H. Huth (1850-1910) was, like his father Henry Huth, a prominent bibliophile. The senior Huth was perhaps Buckle's best friend. John Mackinnon Robertson (1856-1933) was an editor, member of Parliament, writer, and "a militant free thinker....Few people since the great Encyclopaedist Bayle can have had so wide a range of significant knowledge as Robertson...He was recognized as one of the leading Shakespeareian scholars of his time....He was a literary critic of distinction, (contributing) some of the best work done in Great Britain since Matthew Arnold...He did great work in social science; his studies of H.T. Buckle, of the evolution of states, of German racial theories, of free trade, and thrift....He was a man conspicuous for intellectual courage, direct, candid, and of complete integrity" (Harold J. Laski in DNB). A sampling of Buckle's critics who are here addressed by Robertson: Charles Darwin, who wrote "I doubt whether his generalisations are worth anything"; Matthew Arnold, who objected to Buckle's "fanaticism, which carries its own mark with it, in lacking sweetness; and its own penalty in that, lacking sweetness, it comes in the end to lack light, too"; Theodore Parker's objection, which Robertson found hard to dispute, was that the plan of the book was faulty, "both confused and defective"; and Leslie Stephen, who wrote the article on Buckle in the DNB, calling him "a brilliant amateur rather than a thorough student", objected to the positivist approach of "applying scientific treatment to historical problems. These two volumes are Fine but for slight rubbing in a few places and a small number of stray marks. The letter is Fine.
Title: Buckle and His Critics.
Item: 1.00 Item
Seller ID: [buckle,henrythomas]johnmackinnonrobertson.325lo