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LIBRARY OF OLD AUTHORS.
URING the last few years there has been an increasing demand
for the productions of our early literature, and the taste has been growing without a corresponding attempt to gratify it ; for the reprints of early popular writers still continue to be expensive and they are published with much diversity of plan, and in every variety of size. It is with the view of meeting this demand, under more desirable circumstances, that the present series of publications has been undertaken.
Among the mass of our early literature there are many books which particularly illustrate the character and sentiments or the history ofthe age in which they were written ; while others are in themselves monuments of literary history, possessing beauties which entitle them to revival. If they have fallen into oblivion, it is only from the antiquity of the language, the various allusions which are not now understood by general readers, or other causes for which it was imagined there would not be a sale sufficient to make their republication profitable, while, in their original forms, they are too rare or too expensive to be generally accessible.
In the series now offered to the public, a careful selection will be made of such works, whether from manuscripts or rare printed editions, as seem, from their interest as illustrations of manners, literature, or history, or as having had a once merited reputation, more especially to deserve republication at the present day; and these will be carefully edited, with introductions and notes ; and when necessary, with glossaries and indexes.
Although each work will form a distinct publication, the series will be issued uniformly, in foolscap octavo, and the price will be so moderate (from 3s. to 6s. a volume) as to bring them within the reach of all who take any interest in the study of our older literature.
The following works are already published, or in preparation ; several others are in contemplation, and the Publisher will gladly receive any
further suggestions. The Dramatic and Poetical Works of John MARSTON. Now
first collected, and edited by J. O. Halliwell. 3 vols. The Vision and Creed of Piers Ploughman. Edited by Thomas
Wright; a new edition, revised, with additions to the Notes
and Glossary. 2 vols. INCREASE MATHER’s Remarkable Providences of the Earlier
Days of American Colonization. With introductory Preface
by George Offor. JOHN SELDEN’S Table Talk. A new and improved Edition, by
S. W. Singer. The Poetical Works of WILLIAM DRUMMOND of Hawthornden.
Edited by W. D. Turnbull. The Journal of a Barrister of the name of MANNINGHAM, for
the years 1600, 1601, and 1602; containing Anecdotes of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Marston, Spenser, Sir W. Raleigh, Sir John Davys, fc. Édited from the MS. in the
British Museum, by Thomas Wright. The Rev. JOSEPH SPENCE'S Anecdotes of Books and Men, about
the time of Pope and Swift. A new Edition by S. W. Singer. The Prose Works of GEOFFREY CHAUCER, including the Trans
lation of Boethius, the Testament of Love, and the Treatise
on the Astrolabe. Edited by T. Wright.
Published by JOHN RUSSELL SMITH, 36, Soho Square.