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STUDENT'S HISTORY

OF

ENGLISH LITERATURE

BY

WILLIAM EDWARD SIMONDS

(Ph. D., STRASSBURG)

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BOSTON, NEW YORK, AND CHICAGO
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY

Che Riverside Press, Cambridge

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

LIBRARY
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE

DAVIS

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PREFACE

The problems involved in the preparation of a book like this are many; their solution is often a matter of experiment. In attempting A Student's History of English Literature, the writer makes small claim to originality in the method of his compilation. The admirable text-books of Pancoast, of Moody and Lovett, of Halleck, and of Johnson, as well as the older standard histories, have suggested many points of practical utility; and the writer hastens to acknowledge his indebtedness to his predecessors.

In the interest of clearness the author has adopted the simplest possible division of his subject — that according to centuries; and has relied upon the subdivisions of his chapters to emphasize properly the important literary movements of each period. He has assumed that as many as possible of the essential facts in literary history should be presented to his readers. Not only should the student become acquainted with the principal movements and epochs in our literary development -not only should he be given the opportunity to gain the comprehensive view that includes forces and influences which initiate and modify them — but he should also have before him what may be called the mechanical details of the subject, mere facts of literary record, neither picturesque nor inspiring in themselves, but indispensable even to an elementary knowledge of liter

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ary history. The writer has, therefore, followed the biographical method more closely than some authors who have briefly summarized their biographical studies and enlarged the scope of their technical criticism.

The suggestions for study have been prepared in the hope that they will assist both pupil and teacher in the study of literature. In their preparation the writer has also kept in mind the not impossible student out of school who, without professional assistance or direction, is ambitious to become really acquainted with literature as well as with its history. In these suggestions has been embodied such analysis and criticism as seemed reasonable in a text-book of this grade. It is probable that the courses suggested will be found in some instances more extended than the time allotted will permit; of course the teacher will be guided by his own discretion in their use. Will it not be advantageous occasionally to base the exercise entirely upon these suggested studies without requiring in the classroom a formal recitation of the biographical details given in the preliminary sketch ? The author will welcome all criticism based upon practical experience with these notes.

Much of the material used in sections dealing with the romancers and novelists has been taken from chapters in the author's Introduction to a Study of English Fiction, published by D. C. Heath and Company. In the biographical sketch of Walter Scott and the study suggestions upon Ivanhoe, similar use has been made of material included in the school edition of Ivanhoe published by Scott, Foresman and Company. The author has drawn also, in the account of De Quincey,

PREFACE

upon the biographical introduction to his edition of De Quincey's Revolt of the Tartars, published by Ginn and Company. For the cordial permission of these houses to use this material, the writer desires to express his thanks.

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