- 2,99 €
Description de l’éditeur
Most of the literature that has its origin in the life and career of a great man may be grouped and classified under two heads: history and biography. The part that relates to the man?s actions, and to the influence that such actions have had in shaping the destinies of peoples and states, belongs in the one class; while the part that derives its interest mainly from the man?s personality, and deals chiefly with the mental and moral characteristics of which his actions were the outcome, goes properly into the other. The value of the literature included in these two classes depends almost wholly upon truth; that is, upon the precise correspondence of the statements made with the real facts of the man?s life and career. History is worse than useless if it does not accurately chronicle and describe events; and biography is valueless and misleading if it does not truly set forth individual character.
There is, however, a kind of great-man literature in which truth is comparatively unimportant, and that is the literature of popular legend and tradition. Whether it purports to be historical or biographical, or both, it derives its interest and value from the light that it throws upon the temperament and character of the people who originate it, rather than from the amount of truth contained in the statements that it makes about the man.