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THE TIMES: 'The range of the present work is so encyclopædic that it would be perfectly idle for a single man in a single article to attempt a critical review of the whole, or even of a whole volume. The story of our early literature has been often enough told, but it has never, we think, been popularised to such good purpose. Most of the pictures here are interesting, many of them charming and not a few illuminating. Of such wealth of illustrative matter we may without exaggeration employ the happy phrase that Dryden, in the noblest of prefaces, applied to Chaucer-' Here is God's plenty.' .. The volumes seem to have been very carefully revised for press; and insignificant gleanings, after a careful survey, only demonstrate, in a work so widely comprehensive, the general care and accuracy of the revision."

THE ATHENÆUM: “Dr. Garnett has given such an account of our literature as hardly another man of our times could have written from his personal knowledge. A fine and cultivated taste, a catholic and discriminating sympathy, are indeed rare accomplishments, and these Dr. Garnett displays on every page. Let us congratulate him, too, on the choice of subjects for reproduction as illustrations. Most of them are new to works of this kind, and the colour-printing is uniformly good. The illustrations to Vol. III. deserve a special word of recommendation. The selection could not be bettered. There are many charming title-pages of first editions, and characteristic letters of Defoe, Gibbon, and Goldsmith. We notice a wonderful caricature by Rowlandson, while the commanding genius of Hogarth and Reynolds appears in many masterly portraits. The abundance and the excellent choice of the illustrations are alike remarkable."

THE OUTLOOK: "Sumptuous in every respect, it is a particularly interesting and agreeable work for the lover of letters, being most worthily turned out. The full-page portraits are specially well executed."

THE SATURDAY REVIEW: "There need be no hesitation in saying that if Vols. II. and IV. are equal to their antecedents in writing, printing, illustrations, and all other qualities of the publisher's and printer's art, the whole work will combine in an extraordinary degree the marks of a popular edition in the best sense, and of an edition so handsome that it might be considered an édition de luxe in the true sense of the word. In respect of the illustrations in the text, the work is probably unique, and they give a vividness and atmosphere of reality which the most eloquent word-pictures would fail to give without them."

NOTES AND QUERIES: “We have here for the first time a history of literature reproducing for us in facsimile the most priceless documents in our national collections, and assigning the work at its outset a splendour such as few, if any, extra-illustrated products of the period of grangerising can rival. The result is a complete vivification of the subject, and the owner of the entire work will have within reach a knowledge of our literature such as the greatest clerks ' of past days might have envied. So far as regards the letterpress of a work of this importance, we might have expected to find it due to the collaboration of what in France is called une société de gens de lettres. The publisher has, however, been bold enough to trust the compilation to two scholars of exceptional industry and erudition, with results that are wholly satisfactory.

It is easy

and grateful to speak of what has been accomplished, and welcome a work which, for the reader of general culture, will enlarge immensely the bounds of knowledge, and will establish, as regards the treatment of our national stores, a precedent of the utmost importance."

THE GUARDIAN: "Both writers show to advantage. Equipped by a course of reading of which the encyclopædic character has almost passed into a prowhile Dr. Garnett has viewed his subject from the widest possible standpoint, and verb, the broad sweep of his pen will delight the general reader, the new aspects which he opens up and the philosophical tone which he gives to his history must command the respect of the most serious student. We find it difficult to give sufficiently high praise to the coloured plates, all being extraordinarily good. . . It is a real gain in a book of this kind to find authentic portraits of so many of the persons mentioned in it."

THE EDUCATIONAL TIMES: "The design to produce a work which shall stimulate and gratify curiosity concerning the leading authors of our country and the evolution of its literary history has been most successfully accomplished. The illustrations constitute a very special and very important feature of the work. One must turn the pages in order to realise the generosity of the publisher and the efficiency of its results. The work is very well done, and it is always pleasantly readable. These two volumes raise very high expectations of the two that are to come yet."

THE SKETCH: "It is needless to say that the authors write with understanding, and in general accuracy they compare favourably with other literary historians. The illustrations far surpass anything hitherto attempted in this kind."

PUNCH: "Mr. Heinemann is to be congratulated on his recently published work entitled 'English Literature,' by Richard Garnett and Edmund Gosse, who have executed what to them must have been a labour of love with most painstaking care. They have worked up their materials most successfully, and have reproduced them with a fine polish. The Baron has nothing but praise for the results, both as to letterpress and pictorial illustration, the illuminations being exceedingly well produced."

THE WORLD: “A new history of our literature requires some originality of treatment to make it acceptable. This handsome work possesses just that kind of originality which is likely to be popular. Its object is not merely to tell us what certain famous men wrote, but also how they looked and lived. This aim has been admirably fulfilled; the pages of the volumes are a rich feast of illustrations, all drawn from authentic sources. It was a happy idea, which is being excellently carried out."

THE DAILY NEWS: "The design of the work is broad and harmonious. It is popular in the best sense of the word, in that it combines fulness of knowledge with a sense of proportion, a breadth of treatment and a warmth of atmosphere. But it is to the illustrations that we must look for the unique feature of the undertaking. In this respect the work is an event in English literature. It is indeed a pictorial record of the most comprehensive description. While the illustrations illuminate the history of our literature they will constitute also an important source of knowledge as to the growth of art, typography, illumination, architecture, portraiture, caricature, and a multitude of other aspects of our national life."

THE GLOBE: "It is admittedly for the sake of its pictorial wealth that this work has been undertaken, and it is on that that its acceptability and popularity will be mainly based. At the same time, if these volumes included not a single portrait or facsimile, they would still be welcome and desirable. For, clearly, they will supply a history of English literature marked out not only by readableness, but by comprehensiveness, good proportions, and general mastery of the topic. It suffices to commend the enterprise in hearty terms to all who take a real and living interest in the literary glories of this country."








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