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I recieved a copy of these volumes from an elderly relative years ago, and accepted them out of a sense of dutiful respect but secretly thought "What am I going to do with these useless old encyclopedias?".
Then needing something to read a few weeks ago, I pulled one from the shelf and was immediately enthralled by the style and the substance of John Lord's historical essays. I have learned about Gustavus Adolphus and the 30 years war of the 1600's, through Daniel Webster's lessons 250 years later which almost embarrassingly reflect the economic situation we find ourselves in today. See Page 67 of the essay on Daniel Webster! Then read backwards and forwards for an amazing illumination of history! These words were written in 1885, about events hundreds of years past and will constantly surprise you with their relevance.