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THE UNIVERSAL LIBRARY, now completed in sixty-three
cheap shilling volumes, has included English versions of the “Iliad," of all extant plays of the Greek tragedians, and of some plays of Aristophanes, of Sanskrit fables, and of Virgil's “ Æneid.” It has followed the course of time with English versions of the most famous works of Dante, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Rabelais, Cervantes, Molière, as recast by English dramatists, of Goethe's "Faust" and of Schiller's Poems. It has given currency also to a series of the works of English writers, representative, as far as limits would allow, of our own literature, from Richard of Bury's " Philobiblon” to Sheridan's Plays and Emerson's Essays. In the sequence of publication variety was aimed at, but in the choice of books to be published there was always the unity of purpose that now allows the volumes to be arranged in historical order, illustrating some of the chief epochs of European literature, and especially of English literature, in the long course of time.
THE CARISBROOKE LIBRARY, now begun, will continue the work of its predecessor, with some changes of form and method. It will include books for which the volumes of the former series did not allow sufficient room. Sometimes in the “Universal Library” a large book—Hobbes's " Leviathan," for example—was packed into small type. In the “Carisbrooke Library " there will be no small type.
The volumes will be larger; each of about four hundred and fifty pages. They will be handsome library volumes, printed with clear type upon good paper, at the price of half-a-crown, and they will be published in alternate months. In the “ Universal Library" the editor's introduction to each volume was restricted to four pages, and there was no annotation. In the “Carisbrooke Library,” with larger leisure and a two months' interval between the volumes, it will be possible for the editor to give more help towards the enjoyment of each book. There will be fuller introductions, and there will be notes.
In the “ Carisbrooke Library,” as in the predecessor of which it is an extension, there will be order in disorder. Variety will be still aimed at in sequence of the volumes, while the choice of books to be issued will be still guided by the desire to bring home to Englishmen, without unfair exclusion of any form of earnest thought, as far as may be, some living knowledge of their literature along its whole extent, and of its relations with the wisdom and the wit of the surrounding world,
VOLUME I. THE TALE OF A TUB, AND OTHER WORKS, BY JONA
II. TALES OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS, BEING THE
" CONFESSIO AMANTIS" OF JOHN GOWER. III. THE EARLIER LIFE, AND THE CHIEF EARLIER
WORKS OF DANIEL DEFOE.
IV. EARLY PROSE ROMANCES.