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* 1879. Jan. 31,

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Yanizirénces

HARVARD
UNIVERSITY
LIBRARY

COPYRIGHT

1878
By Henry Holt & Co

New York: J. J. Little & Co., Printers

10 to 20 Astor Place

PREFACE.

The retrospective turn given to American thought by the celebrations of the Centennial year, has stimulated an interest in the history of our literature. Mr. W. J. Linton's Poetry of America * and Mr. Charles F. Richardson's Primer of American Literature t are perhaps symptomatic of this. Prof. M. C. Tyler's History of American Literature, long announced, is now also said to be forthcoming—at least the first part of it.

The aim of the present volume is to give a series of selections from some forty or fifty authors no longer living, illustrative of the growth of American literature from 1776 to 1876. It is designed to represent only polite literature in the narrow sense ; poetry, fiction, humor, satire, sketches of life and character. History, biography, travel, oratory, and, in general, what Coleridge has called “the literature of knowledge," are excluded.

In the short notices prefixed to the selections, no attempt has been made at a bibliography. Where the

* London : George Bell & Sons, 1878. # Boston: Houghton, Osgood & Co., 1878.

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