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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Dryasdust is a fictional historian. He is an imaginary and tediously thorough literary authority thought up by Sir Walter Scott to present background information in his novels; thereafter, a derisory term for anyone who presents historical facts with no feeling for the personalities involved.

“Dryasdust” is mentioned in a whole introductory chapter of Thomas Carlyle’s Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, this chapter being entitled “Anti-Dryasdust.” It is continually referenced, as Carlyle depicts history being surrendered to Dryasdust.

"To Dryasdust, who wishes merely to compile torpedo Histories of the philosophical or other sorts, and gain immortal laurels for himself by writing about it and about it, all this is sport; but to us who struggle piously, passionately, to behold, but in glimpses, the faces of our vanished Fathers, it is death! - Oh, Dryasdust, my voluminous friend, had Human Stupidity continued in the diligent state, think you it might have ever come to this? Surely at least you might have made an Index for these huge books!"

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dryasdust" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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