William Hickling Prescott

Prescott, William Hickling


Born May 4, 1796, in Salem, Mass.; died Jan. 28, 1859, in Boston, Mass. American historian and literary scholar.

Prescott’s first field of research was Western European literary history. He then studied Spanish history of the 15th and 16th centuries and the Spanish colonial conquests in America. His histories were written from a bourgeois liberal point of view. In his works Conquest of Mexico (1843; abridged Russian translation, vols. 1–2, 1885) and Conquest of Peru (1847; abridged Russian translation, 1886), Prescott drew on an abundance of original sources. Although he idealized certain conquistadors, he exposed the greed and cruelty of the Spanish colonizers. Prescott was a member or corresponding member of several academies and scientific societies in Western Europe and the USA.


The Works, vols. 1–22. Philadelphia-London, 1904.
The Correspondence: 1833–1847. Boston-New York, 1925.
The Literary Memoranda, vols. 1–2. Norman, 1961.
The Papers. Urbana, 1964.
In Russian translation:
Istoriia tsarstvovaniia Filippa II, parts 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1858.


Gardiner, C. H. W. H. Prescott. Washington, 1958. (Contains a bibliography.)
References in periodicals archive ?
FEW TODAY KNOW EVEN THE NAME WILLIAM Hickling Prescott, but he was both the most honored and the most popular American historian of the 19th century, when history in the right hands was still a distinguished form of literature.
She is the master of clean, well-constructed sentences and employs many interesting techniques in Ticknor--for one, it is a palimpsest, with occasional sentences cut and pasted directly from books of the same time period as well as from Ticknor's own book, The Life of William Hickling Prescott.
William Hickling Prescott wrote in his 1838, The History of the Conquest of Mexico: "Montezuma took no other beverage than the chocolatl, a potation of chocolate, flavored with vanilla and spices, and so prepared as to be reduced to a froth the consistency of honey, which gradually dissolved in the mouth and was taken cold.
However, the generation of historians born in the 1790s and which started publishing from 1820 on, among them Augustin Thierry and Jules Michelet in France, Thomas Carlyle and Thomas Babington Macaulay in England, Leopold von Ranke and Georg Heinrich Pertz in Germany, William Hickling Prescott and George Bancroft in the United States, used this metaphor in a totally different manner from that of the seventeenth-century historians.
William Hickling Prescott, "Asylum for the Blind," Critical and Historical Essays (London: Routledge, s.
See George Ticknor, Life of William Hickling Prescott (London: Routledge, Warne, and Routledge, 1864), 92-95, 133-35.
A sense of tradition and history is only appropriate in a 130-year-old town named for a historian, William Hickling Prescott.
In Conquest he decides to take on William Hickling Prescott, the author of one of the mid-nineteenth century's greatest epics and a work that has stood the test of time.
William Hickling Prescott brought his History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella to a conclusion.
The Conquest of Mexico, an American historical and literary classic by William Hickling Prescott, was published.
In 1864 he published a biography of an old friend, Life of William Hickling Prescott.
William Hickling Prescott died at 62, while working on the fourth and final volume of History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King of Spain.