A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Parkman, Francis

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Parkman, Francis (1823-1893). -- Historian, s. of a Unitarian minister in Boston, Massachusetts, graduated at Harvard, and qualified as a lawyer, but never practised, and though hampered by a state of health which forbade continuous application, and by partial blindness, devoted himself to the writing of the history of the conflict between France and England in North America. This he did in a succession of works -- The Conspiracy of Pontiac (1851), The Pioneers of France in the New World (1865), The Jesuits in North America (1867), La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West (1869), The Old Regime in Canada (1874), Count Frontenac and New France (1877), Montcalm and Wolfe (1884), and A Half Century of Conflict (1892). In these the style, at first somewhat turgid, gradually improved, and became clear and forcible, while retaining its original vividness. P. spared no labour in collecting and sifting his material, much of which was gathered in the course of visits to the places which were the scenes of his narrative, and his books are the most valuable contribution in existence to the history of the struggle for Canada and the other French settlements in North America. He also wrote two novels, which had little success, and a book upon rose-culture.