Synopses & Reviews
Excerpt from History of English Literature, From Beowulf to Swinburne
It is unhappily the fact that the works of a majority of the earlier authors are scarcely accessible except in the publications of learned societies or in very limited editions; but from Chaucer onwards the Globe Editions are open to all; and the great Cambridge History of English Literature is invaluable as a guide to the Bibliography. It is better to study even a little of the greatest authors than to read many books about them. If the writer should perchance succeed in bringing any readers to the works of the immortals his purpose will be fulfilled. But readers, like poets and anglers, are born to be so and when born under a fortunate star do not need to be allured or compelled to come into the Muses' paradise.
That sins of commission as well as of omission will be discovered the author cannot doubt, for through much reading and writing they that look out of window are darkened, and errors come.
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