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Portrait of Chaucer

ILLUSTRATIONS

Portrait of Spenser, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Bacon, with facsimile of autograph

Portrait of Shakespeare, with facsimile of autograph

Inscriptions

The Mary Arden Cottage

Stratford on Avon

Portrait of Milton, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Bunyan, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Dryden, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Addison, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Pope, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Swift, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Johnson, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Goldsmith, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Gibbon, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Cowper, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Burns, with facsimile of autograph
The Tam O'Shanter Inn

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The Auld Brig o' Doon

Portrait of Scott, with facsimile of autograph

Ellen's Isle.

Scott's Tomb

Portrait of Byron, with facsimile of autograph

Portrait of Wordsworth, with facsimile of autograph

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Grasmere

The Poet's Seat

Portrait of Coleridge, with facsimile of autograph
Greta Hall.

Portrait of Shelley, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of De Quincey, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Macaulay, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Bronté, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Thackeray, with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Dickens, with facsimile of autograph
Gadshill Home of Dickens

Portrait of Eliot, with facsimile of autograph

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Portrait of Browning (E. B.), with facsimile of autograph
Portrait of Browning (Robert), with facsimile of autograph

House in which Browning died, Venice

Portrait of Tennyson, with facsimile of autograph

585

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Between 670 and 671

1

HISTORY OF
OF ENGLISH LITERATURE

INTRODUCTION.

Literature in its largest sense National literature - English literature - Its excellence - Moulding influences Race - Epoch Environment - Personal elements - Literature in a narrower sense - Importance of literature - As a social force-Literary taste Periods of English literature.

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IN its largest sense, literature includes all the written records of man. It presents the thoughts, emotions, and achievements of the human family. Its vast extent renders it absolutely impossible for any person to become acquainted with more than a very small part of it. The greatest libraries of the world now contain more than a million volumes, to which thousands are added every year.

This general or universal literature is made up of national literatures. A national literature is composed of the literary productions of a particular nation. After reaching a state of civilization, every nation accumulates a body of writings that express the thoughts, feelings, and achievements of its people. Thus we have the literature of Greece, of Rome, of Germany, of England, and of other nations, both ancient and modern.

English literature embraces the writings of the people of Great Britain. It covers a period of about twelve hundred years; and five hundred years ago it had in Chaucer one of the world's great writers. It shares in the greatness of the English people. It combines French vivacity with German depth; and in its scope, variety, and excellence it is second to no other. No department of literature has been left uncultivated. Poets have sung in sweet and lofty strains; novelists have portrayed every phase of society; orators have convinced the judgment and moved the heart; scientists have revealed the laws of the physical world; historians have eloquently told of the past; and philosophers have deeply pondered the mysteries of existence.

This literature is a heritage in which all English-speaking people may feel a just pride. It is a subject to which they should give careful study. It embodies the best thought and the noblest feeling of the English people; and an acquaintance with it leads not only to greater breadth of culture, but also to a profounder insight into English history and English character. Standing in close relation to us, it naturally possesses a deeper interest than the literature of any other country.

Literature is influenced or determined by whatever affects the thought and feeling of a people. Among the most potent influences that determine the character of a literature are race, epoch, and surroundings. This fact should be clearly understood, for it renders a philosophy of literature possible. We cannot fully understand any work of literature, nor justly estimate its excellence, without an acquaintance with the national traits of the writer,

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