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قراءة كتاب Sketches of Travel in Normandy and Maine

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‏اللغة: English
Sketches of Travel in Normandy and Maine

Sketches of Travel in Normandy and Maine

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
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Sicily, Africa, and Spain, which I hope may be republished; but the present volume has a unity of its own.

I have said thus much because it was the request of those who loved him best that I should say something here by way of preface, though I have no claim, historical or personal, that my name should in any way be linked with his. But the last of his many acts of kindness to me was the gift of his Sketches from French Travel, which had been recently published in the Tauchnitz edition. And as one of those who have used his travel-sketches with continued delight, who welcomed him to Oxford in 1884, and whose privilege it was to attend many of the lectures which he delivered as Professor, I speak, if without any claim, yet very gratefully and sincerely. And since his lectures illustrate so well the work which made his sketches so admirable, I may be suffered to say a word from my memory of them and of himself.

In his lectures on the text of mediæval historians he did a service to young students of history which was, in its way, unique. He showed them a great historian at work. In his comparison of authorities, in his references to and fro, in his appeal to every source of illustration, from fable to architecture, from poetry to charters, he made us familiar not only with his results, but with his methods of working. It was a priceless experience. Year after year he continued these lectures, informal, chatty, but always vigorous and direct, eager to give help, and keen to receive assistance even from the humblest of his hearers, choosing his subjects sometimes in connection with the historical work on which he happened to be engaged, sometimes in more definite relation to the subjects of the Modern History school. In this way he went through Gregory of Tours, Paul the Deacon—I speak only of those courses at which I was myself able to be present—and, in the last year of his life, the historians of the Saxon Emperors, 936–1002—Widukind, Thietmar, Richer, Liudprand, and the rest. In these and many other books, such as the Sicilian historians and the authorities for the Norman Conquest, he made the men and the times live again, and he seemed to live in them. Whatever the praise which students outside give to his published lectures, we who have listened to him and worked with him shall look back with fondness and gratitude most of all to those hours in his college rooms in Trinity, in the long, high dining-room in S. Giles's—the Judges' lodgings—and in the quaint low chamber in Holywell-street, where he fled for refuge when the Judges came to hold assize.

Much has been heard about Mr. Freeman's want of sympathy with modern Oxford, much that is mistaken and untrue. It is true that he loved most the Oxford of his young days, the Oxford of the Movement by which he was so profoundly influenced, the Oxford of the friends and fellow-scholars of his youth. But with no one were young students more thoroughly at home, from no one did they receive more keen sympathy, more generous recognition, or more friendly help. He did not like a mere smattering of literary chatter; he did not like to be called a pedant; but he knew, if any man did, what literature was and what was knowledge. He was eager to welcome good work in every field, however far it might be from his own.

It is true that Mr. Freeman was distinctly a conservative in academic matters, but it is quite a mistake to think that he was out of sympathy with modern Oxford. No man was more keenly alive to the good work of the younger generation. Certainly no man was more popular among the younger dons. A few, in Oxford and outside, snarled at him, as they snarl still, but they were very few who did not recognise the greatness of his character as well as of his powers. It is not too much to say of those who had been brought into at all near relations with him that they learnt not only to respect but to love him. He was—all came to recognise it—not only a distinguished historian, but, in the fullest sense of the words, a good man. He leaves behind him a memory of unswerving devotion to the ideal of learning—which no man placed higher than he. His remembrance should be an inspiration to every man who studies history in Oxford.

The kindness which allows me to say these words here is like his own, which was felt by the humblest of his scholars.

W.H. HUTTON.


CONTENTS

  PAGE
Normandy [S.R. 1861] 1
Falaise [S.R. 1867] 10
The Cathedral Churches of Bayeux, Coutances, and Dol [S.R. 1867] 21
Old Norman Battle-grounds [S.R. 1867] 33
Fécamp [S.R. 1868] 42
Footsteps of the Conqueror [S.R. 1868] 51
The Côtentin [S.R. 1876] 62
The Avranchin [S.R. 1876] 74
Coutances and Saint-Lo [G. 1891] 80
Hauteville-la-Guichard [G. 1891] 89
Mortain and its Surroundings [G. 1892] 100
Mortain to Argentan [G. 1892] 112
Argentan [G. 1892] 125
Exmes and Almenèches [G. 1892] 139
Laigle and Saint-Evroul [G. 1892] 154
Tillières and Verneuil [G. 1892]

Pages