Popular History of the Life of Columbus

Popular History of the Life of Columbus

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Excerpt from Popular History of the Life of Columbus: A Complete, Compendious Narrative of His Voyages, Discoveries, and General Career, Collected Form All Authentic Sources, Making a Digest of All the Facts Obtainable From Extant Historical, Critical, Biographical, and Other Publications on the Subject

The task of writing a life of Columbus has been discharged with most signal ability, and by the most competent authors that could possibly be found. Each narrative in succession, from the first, seems to be enough - all that could be said or done to cover the ground at the time. Yet it has proved to be a fact that from Columbus's son, who may be said to have written the first biography of his father, each succeeding contribution from Las Casas, Bernaldez, Peter Martyr, Oviedo, Herrera, and Irving's most enchanting work, down to that replica of Irving, Tarducci, offered acceptable and indispensable material and information for this interesting work. Could it be presumed for a moment that Humboldt was not needed? Or that De Lorgues and his school of canonizers have not made fresh and suggestive investigation? And whilst this fullness of raising St. Christopher to the skies seems to leave no room unoccupied in the exaltation of Columbus, who will confront the Brazilian Varnhagen and say that he has not been needed? In point of fact, his incisive, exact, and exhaustive work, searching from Peru to Seville, from Berlin and Vienna to New York and the West Indies, has turned out very valuable solutions of the mysteries of Columbian literature.

Without cataloguing so many other welcome popular abridgments, compendiums, and essayists like Prescott, Sir Arthur Helps, Adams, Hubert Bancioft, R. H. Major, could we close the list without naming as amongst the foremost Henry Harrisse?

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