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This Book is an attempt on the part of its Author to supply an acknowledged want. It is true that classbooks on the subject of English Literature are both numerous and important; but they are usually of such a character as to render them all but unintelligible to any except the most advanced classes. There are others, indeed, which are wonderfully picturesque in style; but which, for that very reason, are unsuitable for the work of the school-room, since the space usually allotted to description is greatly in excess of that which is devoted to facts, and such books are extremely difficult to examine upon. Now, as it seems to the Author, there is no good reason why English Literature should not be made available to junior classes so that, in the end, their
grasp of the subject may be rendered more complete and satisfactory than can be the case with the present text-books. In this book, therefore, by studied simplicity of treatment, it is sought to provide the junior pupil with tasks he will find easy to prepare, and the teacher with lessons he will find easy to examine.
In the arrangement of the periods of literature, the best authorities have been followed ; and, in dealing with authors, the plan adopted has been to give, first, a brief biographical sketch; then, when feasible, a short analysis of a principal work; and, lastly, a few observations on the leading characteristics of style. It will be found that more attention bas been paid to the works than to the life of an author, additional information on the latter subject being Jeft to the discretion of the teacher.
The Extracts have been selected with the double object of illustrating the text and of interesting the pupil; and, in the belief that the teacher has a right to expect in a new publication some relief from quotations which have become wearisome by reason of frequent repetition, the Author has inserted as many new passages as the circumstances admitted.
F. A. L.
OAKTIELD House, IIILLIIEAD, October, 1873.