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THE present work, which was originally published under the title of “Outlines of English Literature,” has been entirely re-written with a special view to the requirements of Students, so as to make it, as far as space would allow, a complete History of English Literature. The Author devoted to its composition the labor of several years, sparing neither time nor pains to render it both instructive and interesting. In consequence of Mr. Shaw's lamented death the MS. was placed in my hands to prepare it for publication as one of Mr. Murray's STUDENT's MANUALs, for which purpose it seems to me peculiarly well adapted. Through long familiarity with the subject, and great experience as a teacher, the Author knew how to seize the salient points in English literature, and to give prominence to those writers and those subjects which ought to occupy the main attention of the Student. Considering the size of the book, the amount of information which it conveys is really remarkable, while the space devoted to the more important names, such as Bacon, Shakspeare, Milton, Dryden, Addison, Sir Walter Scott, and others, is sufficient to impress upon the Student a vivid idea of their lives and writings. The Author has certainly succeeded in his attempt “to render the work as little dry — as readable, in short—as is consistent with accuracy and comprehensiveness.”
As Editor, I have carefully revised the whole work, com
pleted the concluding chapters left unfinished by the Author, (3)
and inserted at the end of the first and second chapters a brief account of Anglo-Saxon, Norman, and early English Literature, in order to render the work as useful as possible to Students preparing for the examination of the India Civil Service, the University of London, and the like. Moreover I have, in the other Notes and Illustrations, given an account of the less important persons, which, though not designed for continuous perusal, will be useful for reference, for which purpose a copious Index has been added. All living writers are, for obvious reasons, excluded.
W. S. LONDON, January, 1864.
In this Edition a few errors in names and dates have been corrected, and considerable additions have been made to the later chapters of the work. A brief account of the lives and works of more than two hundred and twenty authors has been added; and it is believed that the work, in its present form, will be found to contain information respecting every writer who deserves a place in the history of our literature.
W. S. LONDON, January, 1865.
A BRIEF MEMOIR OF THE AUTHOR.
THoMAs BUDD SHAw, born in Gower Street, London, on the 12th of October, 1813, was the seventh son of John Shaw, F. R. S., an eminent architect. From a very early period of his life, though of delicate constitution, he manifested that delight in the acquisition of knowledge which was continued throughout his subsequent career. In the year 1822 he accompanied his maternal uncle, the Rev. Francis Whitfield, to Berbice in the West Indies, where that gentleman was the officiating clergyman, and who was eminently qualified as a scholar and an accomplished gentleman to advance his nephew in his studies and in the formation of his character. On his return from the West Indies, in 1827, he entered the Free School at Shrewsbury, where he became a favorite pupil of Dr. Butler, afterwards Bishop of Lichfield. Here the writer of this brief record recollects that it was remarked of the subject of it that, although inferior to some of his contemporaries in the critical exactness of his scholarship, he was surpassed by none in the intuitive power with which he comprehended the genius and spirit of the great writers of antiquity. At this early period also, apart from school exercises, he rapidly accumulated that general and varied knowledge of books and things which when acquired seemed never to be forgotten.
From Shrewsbury, in 1833, Mr. Shaw proceeded to St. John's College, Cambridge. On taking his degree, in 1836, he became tutor in the family of an eminent merchant; and subsequently, in 1840, he was induced to leave England for Russia, where he commenced his useful and honorable career, finally settling in St. Petersburgh in the year 1841. Here he formed an intimacy with M. Warrand, Professor at the University of St. Petersburgh, through whose influence, in 1842, he obtained the appointment of Professor of English Literature at the Imperial Alexander Lyceum. His lectures were eagerly attended : no professor acquired more thoroughly the love and respect of his pupils, many of whom continued his warmest admirers and friends in after life. In October in the same year he married Miss Annette Warrand, daughter of the Professor.
In 1851 he came to England for the purpose of taking his Master of Arts degree; and on his return to Russia was elected Lector of English Literature at the University of St. Petersburgh. His first pupils were
the Princes of Leuchtenburg; and, his reputation being now thoroughly 1 * (5)
established, he was in 1853 engaged as tutor and Professor o) origlish to the Grand Dukes, an appointment which he retained till his death.
For nine years Mr. Shaw's position was in every respect nviable : happy in his married life, loved by his pupils, respected and honored by all for his high attainments and many virtues, his life passed in peace and prosperity. A few years more, and his means would have enabled him to retire and pass the evening of his life in literary pursuits. But this was not to be. In October, 1862, he complained of pain in the region of the heart; yet he struggled hard against his malady, until nature could bear no more. For a few days before his death he suffered acutely, but bore his sufferings with manly fortitude. On the 14th of November he was relieved from them, dying suddenly of aneurism. His death was regarded as a public loss, and his funeral was attended by their Imperial Highnesses, and a large concourse of present and former students of the Lyceum. A subscription was raised, and a monument is erected to his memory.
The following is a list of such of Mr. Shaw's works as have come to our notice.
In 1836 he wrote several pieces for “The Fellow,” and “Fraser's Magazine.” In 1837 he translated into verse numerous German and Latin poems, and wrote a few original poems of merit, some of which appeared in “The Individual.” Two well-written pieces, “The Song of Hrolf kraken the Sea King,” and “The Surgeon's Song,” were contributions to “Fraser's Magazine.” In 1838 and two following years he contributed several translations from the Italian to “Fraser.” In 1842 he started “The St. Petersburgh Literary Review; ” he also published in “Blackwood” a translation of “Anmalet Bek,” a Russian novel, by Marlinski. In 1844 he published his first work of considerable length, a translation of “The Heretic,” a novel in three volumes, by Lajetchnikoff. The work was well received, and an edition was immediately reprinted in New York. In the following year appeared in “Blackwood” his “Life of Poushkin,” accompanied by exquisite translations of several of the finest of that poet's productions. In 1846 his leisure time was entirely occupied in writing his “Outlines of English Literature,” a work expressly undertaken at the request of the authorities of the Lyceum, and for the use of the pupils of that establishment. The edition was speedily sold, and immediately reprinted in Philadelphia. A second edition was published by Mr. Murray in 1849; and the edition now offered to the public is the fruit of his later years and mature judgment. It may, indeed, be said to be an entirely new work, as the whole has been re-written. In 1850 he published in the “Quarterly” an exceedingly original and curious article, entitled “Forms of Salutation.”