The History of America: Volume 4

Strahan ; Cadell ; Davies



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Strahan ; Cadell ; Davies
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Dec 31, 1803
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“Scarlet coat to red-tabs

It is a common aspect of uncommon men that their lives are so exceptional that they cannot be adequately described in a few words. So much the better then that the author of this autobiography left posterity his remarkable life story.

William ‘Wully’ Robertson was born in Lincolnshire in 1860 and became a servant in the household of the Earl of Cardigan. In 1877 he decided upon a military career and enlisted as a trooper in the 16th (The Queen’s) Lancers. He proved to be an outstanding soldier and encouraged by friends and especially the officers of his regiment, Robertson earned a commission in 1888. This was an incredible achievement at the time since only four or five ‘rankers’ were so promoted annually. Robertson transferred to the 3rd Dragoon Guards.

Having no private means Robertson struggled to maintain the lifestyle of a Victorian cavalry officer and had to work hard to generate extra income. A posting to India gave him the opportunity to do so through proficiency in languages. By 1895 he was a captain serving in the Chitral Campaign and in 1998 attended the staff college at Camberley—the first ‘ranker’ to go there.

The Boer War saw further promotion and during the First World War—after service in the B. E. F.—Robertson rose to become Chief of the Imperial Staff being appointed to full general in 1916. He became a baronet in 1919 and field-marshal in 1920-the first man who joined the British Army at its lowest rank and by his own abilities achieved its highest rank.

This is nothing less than a fascinating account, touching as it does on many aspects of military life as well as minor campaigns and major conflicts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Recommended.”—Leonaur Print Version

Author — Field-Marshal Sir William Robertson, bart., G.C.B., G.C.M.G., K.C.V.O., D.S.O., 1860-1933

Text taken, whole and complete, from the edition published in London, Constable and company ltd., 1921.

Original Page Count – xix and 396 pages.

Illustrations – 1 Portrait.
Scottish Semiticist and Arabist William Robertson Smith was a celebrated biblical critic, theorist of religion, and theorist of myth. His accomplishments were multiple. Smith's German mentors reconstructed the history of Israelite religion from the Bible itself; Smith ventured outside the Bible to Semitic religion and thereby pioneered the comparative study of religion. Where others viewed religion from the standpoint of the individual, Smith approached religion-at least ancient religion-from the standpoint of the group. He asserted that ancient religion was centrally a matter of practice, not creed, and singlehandedly created the ritualist theory of myth. Since Smith's time, the ritualist theory of myth has found adherents not only in biblical studies but in classics, anthropology, and literature as well.

Smith's accomplishments are seen most fully in Religion of the Semites, adapted from a number of public lectures he gave at Aberdeen, and first published in 1889. Smith delivered three courses of lectures over three years. It is this set that is reprinted here. Only recently were the notes for the second and third courses of lectures discovered and published.

Religion of the Semites combines extraordinary philological erudition with brilliant theorizing. Among the fundamental emphases of the book are the foci on sacrifice as the key ritual and non-ancient sacrifice as communion with God rather than as penance for sin. Most important is Smith's use of the comparative method: he uses cross-cultural examples from other "primitive peoples" to confirm his reconstruction from Semitic sources.

Smith combines pioneering sociology and anthropology with a staunchly Christian faith. For him, Christianity is an expression of divine revelation. For Smith, only continuing revelation can account for the leap from the collective, ritualistic, and materialistic nature of ancient Semitic religion to the individualistic, creedal, and spiritualized nature of Christianity. Lectures on the Religion of the Semites manages to meld social science with theology, and remains a classic work in the social scientific study of religion.

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