The Restoration and Eighteenth Century (1660-1789)

The Restoration and Eighteenth Century (1660-1789)

The Restoration and Eighteenth Century (1660-1789)

The Restoration and Eighteenth Century (1660-1789)


The paperback edition, in four volumes, of this standard work will make it readily available to students.

The scope of the work makes it valuable as a work of reference, connecting one period with another and placing each author clearly in the setting of his time.

Reviewing the first edition, The Times Literary Supplementcommented: 'in inclusiveness and in judgment it has few rivals of its kind'.

This third volume covers the Restoration and the Eighteenth Century (1660-1789) and is co-authored by George Sherburn and Donald F. Bond (both at the University of Chicago).


The purpose of the work of which the present volume forms a part is to provide a comprehensive history of the literature of England, an account that is at once scholarly and readable, capable of meeting the needs of mature students and of appealing to cultivated readers generally. The extent of English literature is so great that no one can hope to read more than a fraction of it, and the accumulated scholarship-biographical, critical, and historical-by which writers and their works, and the forms and movements and periods of English literature have been interpreted, is so vast that no single scholar can control it. A literary history by one author, a history that is comprehensive and authoritative over the whole field, is next to impossible. Hence, the plan of the present work. A general harmony of treatment among the five contributors, rather than rigid uniformity of method, has seemed desirable, and there is quite properly some difference of emphasis in different sections. It is hoped that the approach to the different periods will seem to be that best suited to the literature concerned. The original plan brought the history to an end with the year 1939 (the outbreak of the Second World War); but delay in publication caused by the war has per-mitted reference to a few events of a date subsequent to 1939.

Since it is expected that those who read this history or consult it will wish for further acquaintance with the writings and authors discussed, it has been a part of the plan to draw attention, by the generous use of footnotes, to standard editions, to significant biographical and critical works, and to the most important books and articles in which the reader may pursue further the matters that interest him. A few references to very recent publications have been added in proof in an effort to record the present state of scholarly and critical opinion.

As for the present volume, all that is necessary here is to record again the author's indebtedness to Professors Rodney M. Baine and Walter J. Bate, who made corrections in the manuscript, and to Professors Donald F. Bond and Arthur Friedman, who helped with the proof as well as the copy.

G. S.

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