October 25 ~ Desire to Read History of England

"I would rather be poor in a cottage full of books than a king without the desire to read." ~ Thomas Babington Macaulay


Distiguished historian and political leader Baron Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) was born on this day in Leicestershire, England and found his skill as a writer while still a child.

He once said, "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out."

A graduate of Cambridge's Trinity College, his published articles were well-received, especially the brilliant essay on John Milton (1825).

Macaulay became a lawyer in 1826. Four years later as a member of the Whig party, he was elected to Parliament, was known for his great oratory skills, and wrote and published poetry.

Appointed to the Supreme Council of India, he served in Calcutta for three years (1834-1837), reforming the colony's educational system and legal code. He observed, "A history in which every particular incident may be true may on the whole be false."

His great work, the five-volume History of England (18491861), which covers the period from 1688 to 1702, has been called a historic masterpiece. Opinionated and passionate, he said, "It is possible to be below flattery as well as above it."

Reading... To those who know, a priceless adventure.