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OF

ENGLISH LITERATURE.

By THOMAS B. SHAW, M. A.

EDITED, WITH NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS,

By WILLIAM SMITH, LL. D.,

AUTHOR OF BIBLE AND CLASSICAL DICTIONARIES,

AND CLASSICAL EXAMINER IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.

WITH

A SKETCH OF AMERICAN LITERATURE,

BY HENRY T. TUCKERMAN.

NEW YORK:
SHELDON AND COMPANY.

1870.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by

SHELDON & COMPANY, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.

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PREFACE.

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, completed the concluding chapters left unfinished by the Author,

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