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SOME explanation is needed to account for the appearance of this book, in a period which sets so much value on specialised study.
The writer would justify it by the view, first, that in English literature there are certain authors who may be classed as obligatory-concerning whom total ignorance is a defect at least to be concealed ; and secondly, that the ordinary reader has neither the time nor inclination to study all these authors at first hand. An attempt has therefore been made to put together a survey of the literature which should concern itself only with such authors as can be deemed in this manner essential; with the hope that it might usefully supplement the necessarily partial knowledge possessed by young or busy people, and perhaps serve as a guide to those who wish to extend their reading.
The main criterion which has regulated the selection of names
is public fame. Without wishing to assert that Crabbe is a better poet than Campion, or Gray than Webster, it may be stated emphatically that no educated man in the Englishspeaking world can afford to profess entire ignorance of the former in each pair, and therefore to ter, sol not to the latter, space is devoted. Percoi this, bus been the thought of contemporary tisce. Na book has been dwelt on at length which do wizer would not recommend as agreeable
: my lover of literature. If any conHKC bas been trade to public fame in this
e bas been in the case of authors such as ac w ze specially significant in the
cucine Henture. IT I srer as this the writer has to Sie berech what is in one aspect a SENSIY f erects that cannot be viewed
Scegle. the extent of Pope's 52 Dirt ass we realise that at Sec xbered a sudden popu
DC: IR SF that an educated Yuiet F F er di poetry Thomson me 10 L-in what age he 1. TIE TE IR Sr not knowing
Ci is the book's Vases steadfastly
about such TIN INTE s Alenside or