Fourteen years were consumed in the preparation of the work that ranks today as Elbert Hubbard's masterpiece. In Eighteen Hundred Ninety-four, the series of Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great was begun, and once a month for fourteen years, without a break, one of these little pilgrimages was given to the world. These little gems have been accepted as classics and will live. In all there are one hundred eighty Little Journeys that take us to the homes of the men and women who transformed the thought of their time, changed the course of empire, and marked the destiny of civilization. Through him, the ideas, the deeds, the achievements of these immortals have been given to the living present and will be sent echoing down the centuries. Hubbard's Little Journeys to the homes of these men and women have not been equaled since Plutarch wrote his forty-six parallel lives of the Greeks and Romans. And these were given to the world before the first rosy dawn of modern civilization had risen to the horizon. Without dwelling upon their achievements, Plutarch, with a trifling incident, a simple word or an innocent jest, showed the virtues and failings of his subject. As a result, no other books from classical literature have come down through the ages to us with so great an influence upon the lives of the leading men of the world. Who can recount the innumerable biographies that begin thus: In his youth, our subject had for his constant reading, Plutarch's Lives, etc. ? Emerson must have had in mind this silent, irresistible force that shaped the lives of the great men of these twenty centuries when he declared, All history resolves itself very easily into the biography of a few stout and earnest persons.