|Description: A hard covered brown book entitled "The History of England from the Accession of James II, Vol. 1". Inscribed on first page "John M. Hamilton". |
Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay (1857), PC (25 October 1800 - 28 December 1859) was a nineteenth-century English poet, historian and Whig politician and Member of Parliament for Edinburgh. He wrote extensively as an essayist and reviewer, and on British history. While a student at Trinity College Cambridge, Macaulay wrote much poetry and won several prizes. In 1825 he published a prominent essay on Milton in the Edinburch Review. In 1826 he was called to the bar but showed more interest in a political than a legal career. As a member of parliament he made his name with a series of speeches in favour of parliamentary reform, attacking such inequalities as the exclusion of the Jews. He served in India as first Law Member of the Governor-General's Council and on the Supreme Council of India. He developed a criminal law system which stood for two centuries. After returning to England, he was made Secretary at War in 1839. In 1841, Macaulay addressed the issue of copyright law. Macaulay's position, slightly modified, became the basis of copyright law in the English-speaking world for many decades. Macaulay argued that copyright is a monopoly and as such has generally negative effects on society. During his first period out of office, he composed 'Lays of Ancient Rome' , a series of very popular ballads about heroic episodes in Roman history. The most famous of them, 'Horatius'. 'The History of England from the Accession of James the Second' is his major work (begun in the 1840s), famous for its brilliant ringing prose and for its confident, sometimes dogmatic, emphasis on a progressive model of British history, according to which the country threw off superstition, autocracy and confusion to create a balanced constitution and a forward-looking culture combined with freedom of belief and expression. The fist volumes were published in 1848, the next two volumes in 1855. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Babington_Macaulay visited Jan. 4, 2008.