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SARAH E. SIMONS
HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH IN THE HIGH SCHOOLS,
WASHINGTON, D. C.
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
This volume is intended as a handbook for high-school students of American literature. The purpose of the book is to give a fair view of what has been done and is still being done in the domain of American letters, and to stimulate, through the illustrations, further reading in and appreciation of American authors. The work is by no means exhaustive, but it is believed that it is representative of the periods and the personalities in our literary development. A relatively large space has been given to living writers and recent literary activities because the highschool pupil's interest is emphatically in the present-day author and his reading is chiefly from contemporary productions. Hence he needs direction and guidance in this field as much as anywhere. Moreover, through the study of the good modern writer, he may be drawn to the classic when he sees the dependence of the new writer on the old, when he realizes the modern author's appreciation of the great and the good in the achievement of earlier men.
All work of a critical nature has been purposely omitted as outside the sphere of interest and comprehension of the high-school student. Even in the bibliographies no mention is made of books which are works of appraisal mainly. Further readings in the particular authors are indicated and reference is made to works which shed light on the period and on the environment of the author, for the sake of atmosphere and background.