Martin, Bon-louis Henri

Martin, Bon-Louis Henri a celebrated French historian, was born at St. Quentin, February 20, 1810. He studied at Paris, and like all the other young men of his epoch, fell under the influence of the romantic school, and commenced his literary career with writing verses for periodicals. But he soon betook himself to his lifelong study of the history of France. Paul Lacroix suggested that Martiu should help him in preparing an immense historical work in forty- eight volumes. It was not to be a history of France, but a collection of extracts from chronicles and histories, extending from the earliest period to 1830. The first volume appeared in 1833, when Martin's colleague deserted him , and he concluded the book in 1836. He then wrote the first volume of a history of Soissons; and believing his studies had fitted him for the task, he commenced the prodigious labor of writing a complete history of France. His interest in the history of the Gauls makes his first volumes the most attractive of all, As successive editions were called for, he spent his time in painstaking revisions of his history, incorporating every new discovery, and keeping his book, up to the fourth edition, in 1878, entirely abreast of the knowledge of the time. In 1878 and 1879 he published a history of France from 1789 to 1830, in four volumes, as a sequel to his great work. In 1878 he was elected a member of the Academie Frangaise, in place of Thiers. Martin died December 14, 1883. With him expired the last of the great historians bred in the school of Thierry. See Hanotaux, Henri Martin (Paris, 1885), (B.P.)

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