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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Henry Martyn Baird (1832–1906)
Critical and Biographical Introduction
 
THAT stirring period of the history of France which in certain of its features has been made so familiar by Dumas through the ‘Three Musketeers’ series and others of his fascinating novels, is that which has been the theme of Dr. Baird in the substantial work to which so many years of his life have been devoted. It is to the elucidation of one portion only of the history of this period that he has given himself; but although in this, the story of the Huguenots, nominally only a matter of religious belief was involved, it in fact embraced almost the entire internal politics of the nation, and the struggles for supremacy of its ambitious families, as well as the effort to achieve religious freedom.  1
  In these separate but related works the incidents of the whole Protestant movement have been treated. The first of these, ‘The History of the Rise of the Huguenots in France’ (1879), carries the story to the time of Henry of Valois (1574), covering the massacre of St. Bartholomew; the second, ‘The Huguenots and Henry of Navarre’ (1886), covers the Protestant ascendancy and the Edict of Nantes, and ends with the assassination of Henry in 1610; and the third, ‘The Huguenots and the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes’ (1895), completes the main story, and indeed brings the narrative down to a date much later than the title seems to imply.  2
  It may be said, perhaps, that Dr. Baird holds a brief for the plaintiff in the case; but his work does not produce the impression of being that of a violently prejudiced, although an interested, writer. He is cool and careful, writing with precision, and avoiding even the effects which the historian may reasonably feel himself entitled to produce, and of which the period naturally offers so many.  3
  Henry Martyn Baird was born in Philadelphia, January 17th, 1832, and was educated at the University of the City of New York and the University of Athens, and at Union and Princeton Theological Seminaries. In 1855 he became a tutor at Princeton; and in the following year he published an interesting volume on ‘Modern Greece, a Narrative of Residence and Travel.’ In 1859 he was appointed to the chair of Greek Language and Literature in the University of the City of New York.  4
  In addition to the works heretofore named, he is the author of a biography of his father, Robert Baird, D. D.  5
 
 
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