Old Friends at Cambridge and Elsewhere

John Willis Clark Old Friends at Cambridge and Elsewhere
John Willis Clark
Project Gutenberg
Рік видання:
2016 р.
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Full materials for the life of Dr Whewell are at last before the public. We say ‘at last,’ because ten years elapsed from his death in 1866 before the first instalment of his biography appeared, and fifteen years before the second. Haste, therefore, cannot be pleaded for any faults which may be found in either of them. Nor, indeed, is it our intention to carp at persons who have performed a difficult task as well as they could. Far rather would we take exception to the strange resolution of Dr Whewell’s executors and friends to have his life written in separate portions. It was originally intended that there should be three 2of these published simultaneously: (1) the scientific, (2) the academic, (3) the domestic. As time went on, however, it was found impossible to carry out this scheme; and Mr Todhunter published the first instalment before anyone had been found to undertake either of the others. At last, after repeated failures, the second and third portions were thrown together, and entrusted to Mrs Stair Douglas, Dr Whewell’s niece by marriage. The defects of such a method are obvious; events scarcely worth telling once are told twice; documents that would have been useful to one biographer appear in the work of the other, and the like. For this, however, the authors before us deserve less blame than the scheme which they were compelled to follow.

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