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Encyclopedia > William Hickling Prescott

William Hickling Prescott (May 4, 1796 - January 29, 1859) was a historian.


William H. Prescott was born in Salem, Massachusetts to William Prescott, Jr., who was a lawyer, and his wife, née Catherine Greene Hickling. His grandfather William Prescott served as a Colonel during the American Revolutionary War.


Prescott suffered from failing eyesight after a thrown crust of bread was temporarily lodged in his eye. This occurred while he was attending Harvard University, where he graduated in 1814. He made an extended tour in Europe, and on his return to America he married, and abandoning the idea of a legal career, resolved to devote himself to literature. After ten years of study, he published in 1837 his History of Ferdinand and Isabella, which at once gained for him a high place among historians. It was followed in 1843 by the History of the Conquest of Mexico, and in 1847 by the Conquest of Peru. His last work was the History of Philip II., of which the third vol. appeared in 1858, and which was left unfinished. In that year he had an apoplectic shock, and another in 1859 was the cause of his death. In all his works he displayed great research, impartiality, and an admirable narrative power. The great disadvantage at which, owing to his very imperfect vision, he worked, makes the first of these qualities specially remarkable, for his authorities in a foreign tongue were read to him, while he had to write on a frame for the blind. Prescott was a man of amiable and benevolent character, and enjoyed the friendship of many of the most distinguished men in Europe as well as in America.


Much of Prescott's work was based on his researches with unpublished documents in archives in Spain.

  • The History of Ferdinand and Isabella
  • Spain's Conquest of the Moors
  • The Conquest of Mexico
  • The Conquest of Peru
  • The History of Philip II

W. H. Prescott died of a stroke in Boston, Massachusetts.


See also

External links

  • Biography in 1911 Encyclopedia (http://55.1911encyclopedia.org/P/PR/PRESCOTT_WILLIAM_HICKLING.htm)
  • Columbia Encyclopedia article (http://www.bartleby.com/65/pr/PrscttWH.html)
  • Project Gutenberg e-texts of works by William Hickling Prescott (http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/author?name=Prescott%2c%20William%20Hickling)
  • Biography in A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature by John W. Cousin (http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/1/3/2/4/13240/13240-h/13240-h.htm)

  Results from FactBites:
 
William Hickling Prescott - LoveToKnow 1911 (1739 words)
WILLIAM HICKLING PRESCOTT (1796-1859), American historian, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on the 4th of May 1796.
His grandfather was Colonel William Prescott (1726-1795), who commanded at the battle of Bunker Hill; and his father was a well-known lawyer.
As an historian Prescott stands in the direct line of literary descent from Robertson, whose influence is clearly discernible both in his method and style.
William Hickling Prescott House (426 words)
The William Hickling Prescott House, at 55 Beacon Street, pictured above on the left side, and the adjoining home at 54 Beacon Street, were built in 1808 for the Boston merchant, James Smith Colburn.
Prescott was one of the first English-speaking historians to write about the Spanish Empire.
After Prescott died in 1859, his widow continued to live in the house until her death in 1872, when it was purchased by her nephew, Franklin Gordon Dexter.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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