The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVI. Early National Literature, Part II; Later National Literature, Part I.

XVIII. Prescott and Motley.

§ 1. Youth.

TO write, his first resolve; to select a topic, his second—herein lies a cardinal difference between William Hickling Prescott (1796–1859) and the typical research student who only at last commits the results of his labours to paper. Not that Prescott plunged into his task without preparation. His self-training was long and minute, but the methods were so exceptional as to be well worth noting in some detail.   1