Henry Thomas Buckle

English historian

Henry Thomas Buckle (24 November 182129 May 1862) was an English historian, author of an unfinished History of Civilization, and a very strong amateur chess player.

Henry Thomas Buckle, 1857


  • Of all the various ways which the imagination has distorted truth, there is none which has worked so much harm as an exaggerated respect for past ages. This reverence for antiquity is repugnant to every maxim of reason, and is merely the indulgence of a poetic sentiment in favour of the remote and unknown.
    • History of Civilisation in England. Vol 1, 1st pub 1857, also page 100. Worlds Classics , Pub. 1903. London Grant Richards.
  • Our knowledge is composed not of facts, but of the relations which facts and ideas bear to themselves and to each other; and real knowledge consists not in an acquaintance with facts, which only makes a pedant, but in the use of facts, which makes a philosopher.
  • And, notwithstanding a few exceptions, we do undoubtedly find that the most truly eminent men have had not only their affections, but also their intellect, greatly influenced by women. I will go even farther; and I will venture to say that those who have not undergone that influence betray a something incomplete and mutilated. We detect, even in their genius, a certain frigidity of tone; and we look in vain for that burning fire, that gushing and spontaneous nature with which our ideas of genius are indissolubly associated. Therefore, it is, that those who are most anxious that the boundaries of knowledge should be enlarged, ought to be most eager that the influence of women should be increased, in order that every resource of the human mind may be at once and quickly brought into play.
  • When the interval between the intellectual classes and the practical classes is too great, the former will possess no influence, the latter will reap no benefits.

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about: