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Eminent Victorians
Lytton Strachey

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EMINENT VICTORIANS 

by Lytton Strachey 

Preface 

THE history of the Victorian Age will never be written; we know
too much about it.  For ignorance is the first requisite of the
historian--ignorance, which simplifies and clarifies, which
selects and omits, with a placid perfection unattainable by the
highest art.  Concerning the Age which has just passed, our
fathers and our grandfathers have poured forth and accumulated so
vast a quantity of information that the industry of a Ranke would
be submerged by it, and the perspicacity of a Gibbon would quail
before it.  It is not by the direct method of a scrupulous
narration that the explorer of the past can hope to depict that
singular epoch.  If he is wise, he will adopt a subtler strategy.
He will attack his subject in unexpected places; he will fall
upon the flank, or the rear; he will shoot a sudden, revealing

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