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ANNOTATED EDITION

OF THE

ENGLISH POETS.

BY

ROBERT BELL,

AUTHOR OF

"THE HISTORY OF RUSSIA,' 'LIVES OF THE ENGLISH POETS,' ETC.

In Monthly Volumes, 28. 6d. each, in cloth.

LONDON:
JOHN W. PARKER AND SON, WEST STRAND.

1855.

Already Published. POETICAL WORKS OF JOHN DRYDEN, including the most

complete collection of his Prologues and Epilogues hitherto published. Edited, with a Biographical Memoir, containing New Facts and Original Letters of the Poet, now printed for the first time, with Notes, Critical and Historical. Three Volumes, containing

904 pp. 78. 6d. POETICAL WORKS OF THE EARL OF SURREY, OF MINOR CON.

TEMPORANEOUS POETS, AND OF SACKVILLE, LORD BUCKHURST.

With Notes and Memoirs. In One Volume. 28. 6d. POETICAL WORKS OF WILLIAM COWPER, together with Illus

trative Selections from the Works of Lloyd, Cotton, Brooke, Darwin, and Hayley. With Notes and Memoirs, and Original Letters of

Cowper, now first published. Three Volumes. 78. 6d. SONGS FROM THE DRAMATISTS. With Notes, Memoirs, and

Index. In One Volume. 28. 6d. POETICAL WORKS OF SIR THOMAS WYATT. In One Volume.

With Notes and Memoir. 28. 6d. POETICAL WORKS OF JOHN OLDHAM. In One Volume. With

Memoir and Notes. 28. od. POETICAL WORKS OF EDMUND WALLER. With Memoir and

Notes. In One Volume. 28. 6d. POETICAL WORKS OF GEOFFREY CHAUCER. With Memoir

and Notes. Vols. I. II. III. and IV. 28. 6d. each. · POETICAL WORKS OF JAMES THOMSON. With Memoir and

Notes. Two Volumes. 58. POEMS OF WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE. With Memoir and Notes.

23. 6d.

On the First of July, 1855, POETICAL WORKS OF GEOFFREY CHAUCER. Vol. V.

Annotated Edition of the English Poets.

THE necessity for a revised and carefully Annotated Edition 1 of the English Poets may be found in the fact, that no such publication exists. The only Collections we possess consist of naked and frequently imperfect Texts, put forth without sufficient literary supervision. Independently of other defects, these voluminous Collections are incomplete as a whole, from their omissions of many Poets whose works are of the highest interest, while the total absence of critical and illustrative Notes renders them comparatively worthless to the Student of our National Literature.

A few of our Poets have been edited separately by men well qualified for the undertaking, and selected Specimens have appeared, accompanied by notices, which, as far as they go, answer the purpose for which they were intended. But these do not supply the want which is felt of a Complete Body of English Poetry, edited throughout with judgment and integrity, and combining those features of research, typographical elegance, and economy of price, which the present age demands.

The Edition now proposed will be distinguished from all preceding Editions in many important respects. It will include the works of several Poets entirely omitted from previous Collections, especially those stores of Lyrical and Ballad Poetry in which our Literature is richer than that of any other Country, and which, independently of their poetical claims, are peculiarly interesting as illustrations of Historical Events and National Customs.

By the exercise of a strict principle of selection, this Edition will be rendered intrinsically more valuable than any of its predecessors. The Text will in all instances be scrupulously col. lated, and accompanied by Biographical, Critical, and Historical Notes.

An INTRODUCTORY VOLUME will present a succinct account of English Poetry from the earliest times down to a period which will connect it with the Series of the Poets, through whose Lives the History of our Poetical Literature will be continued to the present time. Occasional volumes will be introduced, in which Specimens, with connecting Notices and Commentaries, will be given of those Poets whose works are not of sufficient interest to be reproduced entire. The important materials gathered from previously unexplored sources by the researches of the last quarter of a century will be embodied wherever they may be available in the general design; and by these means it is hoped that the Collection will be more complete than any that has been hitherto attempted, and that it will be rendered additionally acceptable as comprising in its course a Continuous History of English Poetry.

By the arrangements that will be adopted, the Works of the principal Poets may be purchased separately and independently of the rest. The Occasional Volumes, containing, according to circumstances, Poetry of a particular Class or Period, Collections illustrative of Customs, Manners, and Historical events, or Specimens, with Critical Annotations, of the Minor Poets, will also be complete in themselves.

As the works of each Poet, when completed, will be independent of the rest, although ultimately falling into their places in the Series, they will be issued irrespective of chronological sequence. This arrangement will present a greater choice and variety in the selection from month to month of poets of different styles and periods, and at the same time enable the Editor to take advantage of all new sources of information that may be opened to him in the progress of publication. General Title-pages will be finally supplied for combining the whole Collection into a chronological Series.

London: John W. PARKER and Son, West Strand.

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