A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Hallam, Henry

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Hallam, Henry (1777-1859). -- Historian, s. of a Dean of Wells, was b. at Windsor, and ed. at Eton and Oxf. He was page 175called to the Bar at the Inner Temple, and appointed a Commissioner of Stamps. Among his earliest writings were papers in the Edinburgh Review; but in 1818 he leaped into a foremost place among historical writers by the publication of his View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages. This was followed in 1827 by The Constitutional History of England from the Accession of Henry VII. to the Death of George II., and his third great work, Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the 15th, 16th, and 17th Centuries, in 4 vols., appeared in 1837-39. All these, which have gone through several ed., and have been translated into the principal languages of Europe, are characterised by wide and profound learning, indefatigable research, and judicial impartiality. They opened a new field of investigation in which their author has had few, if any, superiors. In politics H. was a Whig; but he took no active share in party warfare. He had two sons of great promise, both of whom predeceased him. Of these the elder, ARTHUR HENRY, is the subject of Tennyson's In Memoriam, and of him his f. wrote a touching memoir prefixed to his literary remains.