A Saintsbury Miscellany: Selections from His Essays and Scrap Books

A Saintsbury Miscellany: Selections from His Essays and Scrap Books

A Saintsbury Miscellany: Selections from His Essays and Scrap Books

A Saintsbury Miscellany: Selections from His Essays and Scrap Books

Excerpt

Dr. John W. Oliver and I, being of that brotherhood of men who sat at the feet of ProfessorGeorge Saintsbury in the University of Edinburgh, and having the support both moral and active of Dr. Arthur Melville Clark of the English Department in that University, were united in a desire that the centenary year of his birth should be remembered in a fitting way. Writing in 1923, he said himself of the Prefaces he had contributed to editions of Dryden, Herrick, and others that he would 'rather like to see them together'; and in the pages of many an old periodical there are essays which those who hold him in veneration would wish to see reprinted. From these essays and those Prefaces we have gathered the materials for this memorial volume. We record our special thanks to Mr. Christopher Saintsbury, ProfessorSaintsbury's surviving son, for his consent to the publication of the book and for his help. He has generously agreed that the royalties should go to the provision of an annual Saintsbury Essay Prize at Edinburgh University.

It has been our editorial policy to present a happy diversity of George Saintsbury's essays and studies. A number of shorter pieces we have collected under the title of 'A Saintsbury Scrap Book,' forming a continuation of the three Scrap Books he published in his later years. No record exists of his fugitive writings: he had estimated these, nearly forty years before the end of his busy life, to have run to more than the bulk of one hundred large volumes: thus our task of searching among the periodical literature of his day has not been easy.

George Saintsbury had expressed a wish that the advice of Professor Oliver Elton should be obtained on any collection of his papers which might be made after his death. Professor Elton gave his blessing to our work and contributed a personal study of his old friend: and now his own death, on the 4th of June 1945, must be sadly recorded.

Our thanks are due to Sir Herbert Grierson for valued memories . . .

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