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ORIGINALLY COMPILED BY
AUSTIN DOBSON 65664
REVISED, WITH NEW CHAPTERS, AND
W. HALL GRIFFIN, B.A.
W. HALL GRIFFIN, BA...
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE AT
QUEEN'S COLLEGE, LONDON
This Manual was first issued in 1874 as one of a series intended primarily to assist candidates in preparing for the Civil Service examinations. But in these examinations English literature has never proved a particularly attractive subject; and in the second edition of 1880 an attempt was made to extend the utility of the book as a work of reference. In this character it achieved a certain success, and went out of print. In 1895 the publishers decided to reissue it with such revision and supplement as might serve to bring it down to the present date. This task, rendered more formidable by two-and-twenty years of dictionaries, biographies, histories, and special 'monographs,' the original compiler had neither the leisure nor the inclination to undertake ; and with his entire concurrence, it was entrusted to the capable and experienced hands of Mr. W. Hall Griffin, Professor of English Language and Literature at Queen's College, London.
Professor Hall Griffin has revised the volume throughout in the light of the most recent authori
ties. For the initial chapter he has substituted another; and he has furnished a long supplementary chapter treating of those writers who have died since 1875. He has also verified and in part re-written the different Appendices; that entitled 'Dictionary of Minor Authors'-always regarded as a valuable feature-has indeed been completely remodelled, and has received such material additions that it now contains nearly five hundred names. In all this the existing scheme of the book has been closely adhered to; and the original. Introduction, which, as before, correctly describes its scope and purpose, is therefore, with a few verbal alterations, still retained.
A. D. December 1896.