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THE COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY OF England being, as its title-page intimates, the production of more than one author, a brief notice of its origin is due to the reader and the public. As the basis of this History, the Publishers adopted “The Cabinet History of England,” in twenty-six small volumes, consisting of the Civil and Military portion of “ The Pictorial History of England,” condensed and abbreviated by its author, Charles Macfarlane, and of a brief abstract of the Religious History of England, condensed from the same work, the narrative of events being brought down only to the year 1816. On this original portion the following changes have been made. Incidents omitted, but judged necessary for a clearer understanding of the narrative, have been restored. Events of importance too summarily treated, have been amplified into greater fulness and distinctness. In other cases where the detail was too minute, the narrative has been shortened, but still with due regard to completeness and perspicuity, and the relative proportion of each part to the whole. A careful editorial survey has been exercised over every page and every sentence of the original work, and whatever might be deemed unnecessary or offensive has been cancelled or altered.
The narrative, which was divided merely by historical periods or epochs, some of them of great length, has been also subdivided into chapters, with a copious table of contents prefixed to
And upon those portions of the national history on which a variety of opinions are at issue, or to which superior importance is attached, notes have been appended from the works of the most distinguished historical writers of the present age, such as Bruce, Giles, Turner, Palgrave, Kemble, Lappenberg, Pauli, Hallam, Guizot, Carlyle, Macaulay, Bancroft, &c.
While this editorial labour alone has materially changed the original Work, the amount of new writing has still further tended to transform it into the COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY OF ENGLAND. Of these additions we need only to particularize the chief. The early history of Britain before the Roman invasion has been introduced as a fitting preface to the general narrative. Of the chapters containing the History of Religion, some have been partly and others wholly re-written. From the Peninsular campaign and battle of Waterloo to the close of 1815, nearly one-half of the narrative has been supplied by the Editor, while all since that period consists wholly of fresh material. But the most important of all the additions, from which the present Work chiefly claims its title of “Comprehensive,” are the chapters constituting the History of Society with which each Book is terminated. Upon this department we offer the following observations.
Until lately the history of a nation consisted of little else than a record of its wars, and the political movements upon which they depended. On this account the individual elements that compose the life of a people, the formation of the national character, and the true sources of a kingdom's rise, prosperity, and decay, were either wholly lost sight of or but briefly mentioned. The stir and glitter of warlike achievements, the exploits of heroes, and the
IISTORY OF ENGLAND;
CIVIL AND MILITARY,
RELIGIOUS, INTELLECTUAL, AND SOCIAL.
FION THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE SUPPRESSION OF THE SEPOY REVOLT.
CHARLES MACFARLANE, AND REV. THOMAS THOMSON,
A HISTORY OF SCOTLAND," ETC.
THE WHOLE REVISED AND EDITED BY THE REV. THOMAS THOMSON.
CONTINUED TO SIGNING OF THE TREATY OF SAN STEFANO.
ILLUSTRATED BY ABOVE ELEVEN HUNDRED ENGRAVINGS.
GLASGOW AND EDINBURGH.