Born in 1838 in County Dublin to a very wealthy father of Scottish roots and an English mother, William Lecky's outlook was British and European, although he always considered himself an Irishman. Under the early influence of positivism, he turned from a suggested career in the church to law, but never practised despite being called to the Bar. He began his literary career as a poet, publishing under the name of 'Hibernicus' in 1859. His next two books of contemporary history were published anonymously, but his fourth book was published under his name – and was an instant success. This book, The History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe (1865), when coupled with its natural associate, his …
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Nixon, Mark. "William Lecky". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2663, accessed 23 May 2017.]