"I want to thank you and your brother for Abbott’s series of Histories. I have not education enough to appreciate the profound works of voluminous historians, and if I had, I have no time to read them. But your series of Histories gives me, in brief compass, just that knowledge of past men and events which I need. I have read them with the greatest interest. To them I am indebted for about all the historical knowledge I have."
Makers of History is a 19th century biography series by two brothers—Jacob and John S.C. Abbott. Some of these books have been reprinted by Canon Press, A Beka, and Yesterday's Classics. The full series is 31 books in length.
This famous series was so well known and widely read that they were staples of virtually every American library from the time they were published, in the mid-nineteenth century, until after the first world war. Both informative and terrifically entertaining, the Abbott brothers had an enormous talent for writing biographies, and selecting those stories and anecdotal episodes from histories that are of most interest to the general reader.
It was not until about 1848 that the brothers embarked on the idea of doing a series of biography aimed at young people. The target audience was age "15 to 25", and the Abbott brothers eventually produced a set of biographies that were critically acclaimed, and widely read. They were originally published as the 'Illustrated History' series, but were republished many times during the next sixty years in various collections, entitled 'Famous Characters of History', 'Famous Queens of History', and others. They were most recently republished in the early 1900’s as the 'Makers of History' series.
The Abbotts had a terrific gift for narrative, and their books all read as if they were high suspense novels. Although the vocabulary level is relatively high, more appropriate for high school or college than elementary schools, the writing style is not difficult, and the stories move along at a fast pace. The Abbott biographies have a delightful combination of action and adventure, along with truly interesting personality portraits, intriguing subplots, and fascinating secondary characters which should be appealing to both young men and young women. The Canon Press reprints havebeen edited and brought up-to-date for readers twelve and up. Not only are these editions given vintage style paperback covers, but they also include introductions that explain where these men and women fit into the timeline of history.
—Our thanks to Heritage History for much of this description.
An Incomplete List....
1 - Cyrus the Great - Makers of History
2 - Darius the Great - Makers of History
3 - Alexander the Great - King of Macedon
4 - Xerxes - Makers of History
5 - Romulus, the Founder of Rome - Makers of History
6 - Pyrrhus, King of Epirus - Makers of History
7 - Hannibal - Makers of History
8 - Cleopatra - Makers of History Series
9 - Nero - Makers of History Series
10 - King Alfred of England - Makers of History
11 - William the Conqueror - Makers of History
13 - Richard I - Makers of History
14 - Richard II - Makers of History
16 - Margaret of Anjou - Makers of History
18 - Mary Queen of Scots - Makers of History
19 - Charles I - Makers of History
20 - History of King Charles II of England
22 - Genghis Khan - Makers of History Series
23 - Hernando Cortez - Makers of History
26 - Hortense - Makers of History Series
27 - Young Peoples' History of the War with Spain
31 - Louis XIV - Makers of History Series
Did you find this review helpful?