About the Author
William Edward Hartpole Lecky (1838-1903) was an Irish historian, born near Dublin, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He won recognition with History of the Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe (1865) and History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne (1869), in which he considered the development, dissemination, and decline of the moral and theological tenets of the Christian religion, and he later wrote History of England in the Eighteenth Century (8 vol., 1878-90). In 1895 he was elected to Parliament as a Liberal Unionist serving until 1897, when he was made a privy councilor. Lecky actively advocated liberal reforms in Ireland but opposed home rule. In 1902 he was named one of the first members of the British Academy, founded that year, and received the Order of Merit. Among Lecky's others works is Poems (1891).