The Times/1912/Letter to the Editor/James Beresford Atlay
A correspondent writes:—"Will you allow one who was intimate with James Beresford Atlay, whose funeral takes place to-day, to add a few words to your otherwise adequate notice? Atlay, as a student and a writer, had a strong bent towards serious history, and his wide reading and retentive memory, his quick grasp of facts, and his power of marshalling them, all fitted him, as did his sane outlook on life, tomake his mark as an historian. His 'Victorian Chancellors' is proof of this; while, in a smaller way, the Tichborne case, in his 'Famous Trials,' is a model for vivid narrative and judicious concentration. But during his best years his energies were spent, owing to circumstances—it is the lot of many—upon multitudinous and often uncongenial tasks; he was at once author, critic, journalist, reader. And it was only during the last months of his life that he found himself free to devote his leisure to some permanent work more to his taste. On the latest occasion on which I saw him he communicated this intention, discussed the choice of subject, and added, alas! that the plan must not cover more than seven years, as he could not expect to live longer. He was too modest to anticipate success. but had he survived I am confident that he would have added to ur historical literature a work of first-rate importance. He was, like his father, a man of much social charm, of humour, and of a warm and kindly nature."