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COVI

ENGLISH CRITICAL ESSAYS

(NINETEENTH CENTURY)

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HUMPHREY MILFORD
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
London Edinburgh Glasgow Copenhagen
New York Toronto Melbourne Cape Town

Bombay Calcutta Madras Shanghai

The present selection of English Critical Essays (Nine. teenth Century) was first published in The World's Classics' in 1916: crid reprinted in 1919, 1920, 1921 and 1924.

PRINTED IN ENGLAND
AT THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

BY FREDERICK HALL

9

PREFACE

THE essays here brought together are meant to illustrate English literary criticism during the nineteenth century. A companion volume representative of Renaissance and Neo-classic criticism will, it is hoped, be issued at a future date. Meanwhile this volume may well go forth alone. For the nine- . teenth century forms an epoch in English literature whose beginnings are more clearly defined than those of most literary epochs. The publication of the Lyrical Ballads in 1798, and of Wordsworth's Preface to the second edition in 1800, show the Romantic Movement grown conscious and deliberate, with results that have coloured the whole stream of English poetry and criticism ever since.

The greater part of the present collection deals with general principles rather than with criticisms of individual books or authors. The nineteenth century, having discarded the dogmas and 'rules' of Neo-classicism, had perforce to investigate afresh the Theory of Poetry, and though no systematic treatment of the subject in all its bearings appeared, some valuable contributions were made, the most notable of which came from the poets themselves.

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