Macaulay, Thomas Babbington. (1800 - 1859).
L i f e
- a succesful politician: a Member of Parliament for different boroughs, to some of them re-elected for more terms
- served in a political office in India: supported bilingualism in the colony, with English to be used as the language of higher education
> inspired the (pejorative) term "Macaulayism" = the attitude of Indians who adopt the Western culture and lifestyle as their own
W o r k
- first made his reputation as an essayist on literature, history, and politics
Lays of Ancient Rome (1842):
- a collection of ballads about heroic deeds from Roman history
> immensely popular in their time, a common subject for recitation
History of England (1848 - 1861):
- a five-volume monumental history, originally conceived to cover the history to the reign of George III x but: unfinished due his death
- Whiggish attitude to history: perceives the past as an inevitable progression towards liberty and enlightenment
- stresses the rise of constitutional government, personal freedoms, and scientific progress
- preoccupied especially with the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 and its constitutional effects
- concerned as much with Scotland and Ireland as with England
- concludes with reassuring the values of liberal Victorian Britain
> achieved an immediate popular impact
"Those who compare the age in which their lot has fallen with a golden age which exists only in imagination, may talk of degeneracy and decay; but no man who is correctly informed as to the past, will be disposed to take a morose or desponding view of the present."
From History of England (1848 - 1861).
(Picture: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorThomas Babbington (or Babington) Macaulay. (1800 - 1859). British.
WorkProse writer. Poet. Politician. Historian. Author of History of England (1848 - 1861).
GenresVictorian prose (non-fiction). History and politics.
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