CHARLES KINGSLEY WEBSTER
The calling of Professor Charles Kingsley Webster to the chair of International History at the London School of Economics will be especially felt by the many who appreciated the unique position he held in the History Department at Harvard. The qualities by which he impressed the Freshmen in History 1 and the graduates in History 29 were not always identical, but they were always virile and arresting. In essence they sprang from his ability to interpret history in terms of human motives, a talent which many lecturers inadvertently bury in the leaves of ancient volumes.
One of the clearest recollections which most people carry from History 1 is of the indefinable air of contemper-anconsness which Professor Webster gave to the whole period from the Congress of Vienna to the World War. Part of the effect came from the impassive manner in which he pronounced critical judgement on long dead statesmen with all the genial dogmatism of an old friend; part from the illuminating anecdotes which punctuate his lectures.
Those who followed him beyond the pale of History 1 are probably more conscious of the originality which informed his work and led to revision of the contemporary estimate of Lord Castlereagh. The personal experience of the making of history which he acquired at the Conference of Paris is equally notable part of his equipment. It lends to his opinions a realism and authority rare enough in the field of history to make his transfer to London next September a distinct loss for Harvard.