The Temper of the Seventeenth Century in English Literature

The Temper of the Seventeenth Century in English Literature

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The Temper of the Seventeenth Century in English Literature

The Temper of the Seventeenth Century in English Literature

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Excerpt

My original plan for the lectures contained in this book would have made them, as a whole, twice as long as they are. I meant to treat the second half of the seventeenth century quite as fully as I treated the first. The circumstances under which the lectures were given, at Trinity College, prevented this. The time at my disposal proved so limited that I must either greatly condense the first part of my work or else frankly change the scale on which I should consider the Age of Dryden. I chose the latter course.

Having done so, I thought for a good while that, before venturing to print any of this material, I had best rewrite it, restoring the proportions of the original plan. Various circumstances have prevented such rewriting, until it has become evident that the lectures must either appear as they were given or not appear at all. For several reasons, the former course has seemed on the whole preferable.

In the first place, a considerable part of what interest the lectures may have must arise from the fact that, so far as I am aware, they are the first regular lectures concerning English literature ever given by . . .

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