English Literature of the Nineteenth Century: On the Plan of the Author's Compendium of English Literature, and Supplementary to It (Classic Reprint)

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Fb&c Limited, Feb 4, 2018 - 802 pages
Excerpt from English Literature of the Nineteenth Century: On the Plan of the Author's "Compendium of English Literature," and Supplementary to It

The second marked change in my book results, of course, from the necessity of keeping abreast with the intellectual progress of the age, - the busiest-brained generation the world has ever known. During the last fourteen years, a large number of authors have emerged, from greater or less obscurity of reputa tion, into assured prominence in their several departments of literature; and one of my most delicate tasks has been to set forth in these pages a just record of such developments; and no effort has been spared to determine fairly, as far as I could, the comparative attitude, as well as the absolute literary status, of every prominent writer. That this has been, all along, a work of great and constant difficulty and embarrassment, I need hardly say; that I shall secure a unanimous verdict in favor of my suc cess upon this point, it would be idle to hope; but of this I 'feel sure, that the most lenient criticism will be extended to me from those who have most widely viewed and critically examined this illimitable field.

There is one new feature of the present edition which, I am confident, will be universally acceptable, - the Supplementary Lists of secondary authors, alphabetically arranged and ap pended to each decade, with short notices of their chief works. They are classed as secondary only in a comparative sense.

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