IT should be carefully noted that this little volume is the fourth and last in a series written for the
express purpose of creating a deeper interest in the study of History.
These four volumes are entitled respectively "Famous Men of Greece;" "Famous Men of Rome;" "Famous
Men of the Middle Ages;" and "Famous Men of Modern Times."
The very titles of these books convey at once, both to the teacher and the pupil, that the method of
teaching History here pursued is by approaching it through the realm of Biography; and it is not too
much to say that, in this respect, the previous volumes have been eminently successful.
There is something in life that makes its own personal appeal to life. The living man—be he
soldier, sailor, statesman or hero—forms a fixed and abiding center around which the pupil can
gather the prominent events of the country to which the man belongs.
The Conquest of Granada, without the presence and interest of Ferdinand and Isabella; the Discovery
of America, without the life story of Christopher Columbus; the splendid achievements of Galileo and
Newton, apart from the thrilling incidents in the lives of the men who made them; or the mere record
of the winning of Italian Independence or of our own Civil War, without some knowledge of Garibaldi
and Lincoln; these will not long endure in the mind of the average pupil. But when coupled with the
story of the sufferings and struggles, the sorrows and the joys, of the men who were the living
heart and soul of these movements, the narratives become infinitely more fascinating, and take a
deeper hold upon the mind, memory and heart of each individual student; and this holds true
throughout the entire series.
It has been forcibly pointed out in the preface to the earlier volumes of this series, that "the
child almost unconsciously identifies himself with these great heroes of the past, finds himself
imagining what he would do if placed in a like position, and living their lives over again in his
There can be no quicker method of gaining the pupil's attention, and no surer way of holding it,
than that which is here attempted; and this is but another way of saying that there is not, and
cannot be, any truer or better method of acquainting young people with the great facts of history
than that which gives to them a knowledge of the men by whom the history has been made.
The numerous and beautiful illustrations running through all these books will also be of real help
in this respect.
The study of history through biography is as natural as is the attainment of growth and strength
through the use of proper and nourishing food. The one is the logical outcome of the other.
To feel the thrill of life in history destroys all the dryness and tedium of the study, and is a
valuable help to teacher and pupil alike.
These books, following the recommendations of the foremost educators of our times, have been
prepared with this end in view; and it is both hoped and believed that they will serve this useful
Acknowledgments are due from the authors to the Rev. W. F. Markwick, D. D., for valuable assistance
in editing and revising the manuscript and in reading the proofs.