The Sun at Noon: Three Biographical Sketches

The Sun at Noon: Three Biographical Sketches

The Sun at Noon: Three Biographical Sketches

The Sun at Noon: Three Biographical Sketches

Excerpt

I have called the narratives in this book "biographical sketches" in the hope that no one will be misled into supposing that they are intended to be "scholarly" or "exhaustive." My concern has been with the relation of my three subjects to some major interests of their time, and I have omitted data of importance for the scholar but irrelevant to my present purpose. I have not attempted literary criticism of what Rochester and the Falklands wrote, nor have I tried to discuss or even to mention all their works. I have not hunted for the sources of their learning, illuminating as such a search might prove. My object has been simply to expose a part of what they may be presumed to have thought and to tell enough of their major experiences and problems to show how far what they did was determined by certain of their ideas and feelings.

I have tried to ground the book solidly on a wide and careful study of sources and secondary materials, but I have included few footnotes, limiting them in general to brief comments on controversial questions or to material directly supplementing the text. I have, however, supplied a list of the authorities on which I have depended most and from which I have most often quoted, and I have kept a fully annotated manuscript of the entire book, so that if any reader chances to be interested in the authority for any passage I can, I hope, supply it.

I am grateful to the President and Fellows of Harvard College for a grant which enabled me to spend six months reading and seeking material in England; to the authorities of the Bodleian, the British Museum, the London Library, and the Harvard College Library, for many courtesies and much help; to Canon William Charles Emeris for permission to read and . . .

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