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WORKS ILLUSTRATIVE OF ENGLISH LITERATURE,

PUBLISHED IN THE

LIBRARY OF CHOICE READING.

I. IMAGINATION AND FANCY_WITH MARKINGS OF THE BEST

PASSAGES OF THE ENGLISH POETS, CRITICAL NOTICES,

&c., BY LEIGH HUNT. II. AN ILLUSTRATIVE ESSAY ON WIT AND HUMOR, BY LEIGH

HUNT.

III. CHARLES LAMB'S SPECIMENS OF OLD ENGLISH DRAMATISTS,

WHO LIVED ABOUT THE TIME OF SHAKSPEARE. IV. LECTURES ON THE LITERATURE OF THE AGE OF ELIZABETH,

BY WILLIAM HAZLITT. V. CHARACTERS OF SHAKSPEARE'S PLAYS, BY WILLIAM HAZLITT. VI. LECTURES ON THE ENGLISH COMIC WRITERS, BY WILLIAM

HAZLITT. VII. LECTURES ON THE ENGLISH POETS, WITH AN APPENDIX, BY

WILLIAM HAZLITT. VIII. THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE: A SERIES OF CONTEMPORARY POR

TRAITS, BY WILLIAM HAZLITT. IX. BASIL MONTAGU'S SELECTIONS FROM SOUTH, TAYLOR, BARROW,

FULLER, &c. X. PROFESSOR WILSON'S GENIUS AND CHARACTER OF BURNS. XI. VIEWS AND REVIEWS IN AMERICAN HISTORY, LITERATURE

AND FICTION, BY W. GILMORE SIMMS.
XII. PAPERS ON LITERATURE AND ART, BY S. MARGARET FULLER.
XIII. SPENSER AND THE FAERY QUEEN, BY MRS. C. M. KIRKLAND.-

IN PRESS.
XIV. PASSAGES FROM CHAUCER, WITH A LIFE OF THE POET.

WILEY & PUTNAM, 161 Broadway.

Nov, 15, 1846.

SPENSER

AND THE

FA Ë R Y QUE E N.

BY MRS. C. M. KIRKLAND.

AUTHOR OF “A NEW HOME; WHO'LL FOLLOW ?

“WESTERN CLEARINGS," ETC.

LONDON:
WILEY AND PUTNAM,

12, PATERNOSTER ROW.

HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

SHELDON FUND
JULY 10. 1940

PREFACE.

It has become so much the practice to decry everything in the shape of “ Selections,” • Beauties,” and “Extracts” from the standard authors, that it requires no small degree of courage to offer the public a work which shall come under either of the proscribed classes.

But, with all proper deference for the high authorities who contemn such superficial acquaintance with the best writers, we might yet ask whether something-provided it be goodbe not better than nothing? Whether it be indeed wise to renounce all acquaintance with valuable works, because circumstances forbid our studying them thoroughly?

Those who speak with such lofty contempt of any but complete acquaintance with their favorites, are (or should be) persons of elegant acquirements, abundant leisure and ample libraries. There are many people in the world, both young and old, who possess none of these advantages; and we think such will not be wise to allow themselves to be persuaded by their more fortunate advisers, to accept of nothing less than the whole. Scarcely more foolish would be the hungry man who should be induced to refuse a lunch by his neighbor who had already had an excellent dinner.

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