The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 518
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the experience, experimentation, and growth of a man primarily
concerned with ideas, a philosopher. It is the narrative of a first-
rate mind deliberately moving out of its intellectual and social
context in Europe and finding a strange environment for its
latest work. It is the romance of the marriage of two geniuses.
It is the tragedy of genius unable because of a world of circum-
stances to meet its highest pitch, unable despite courage to suit
its new environment, and with all its sensitiveness and deep
feeling unaware of the sense and direction of a new generation.
Edmund Montgomery, one of the first distinguished minds in
Texas history, is the protagonist of these stories. His wife, the
talented artist Elisabet Ney, is the heroine of the romance and
one of the main foils in the tragedy. In making a book of their
lives together, Professor Stephens has accomplished a remarkable
task. His results are most worth remarking, perhaps, for all that
he resolutely excluded from his pages. He has refused to deal in
exaggerated estimates of Montgomery's intellectual accomplish-
ments, although his summary judgments may give this Texan
more philosophical eminence than history will allow him. He
has excluded or kept in minor proportion all the elements that
might have tempted another writer to be sensational, apologetic,
Positive accomplishments of the book are also noteworthy. It
is important, of course, that for the first time students of the
social history of Texas are given full knowledge of this memorable
man. With Morris T. Keeton's The Philosophy of Edmund Mont-
gomery, Professor Stephens' biography now provides perhaps the
clearest insight into a purely intellectual career thus far recorded
in Texas. As a record-and a readable record--of a little chapter
in the history of ideas, the work will be indispensable to later
general students. Facts are managed in clear, full statement. The
discussion is buttressed with a valuable bibliography and check
list of Montgomery's writings and manuscripts still in existence.
If one might levy further on Professor Stephens' broad knowl-
edge of Montgomery's background and his specific research in
biographical details, it would be to ask for more explanation of
the connections and contradictions, the apparent tenuous rela-
tionships and the enormous gaps in Montgomery's record. Did he
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/628/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.