THE subject of this book is one in which the author felt the keenest interest and pleasure, and the amount of labour bestowed upon it is only faintly suggested by the large number of authorities he cites throughout the following pages. He lived long enough to finish the volume, and died whilst the last few proof-sheets were in his house awaiting revision. It had been his original intention to publish two series, each complete in itself. For the latter, in which he proposed to sketch the ecclesiastical state of England in the fifteenth century, the materials were collected, but only a few pages were actually written. As, however, the present volume is really an independent work, it has been decided to publish it alone.
In a posthumous publication there is always this disadvantage, that where questions of fact or construction arise the voice of the man from whom the answer or explanation would naturally have been expected is silenced. In the present case it is hoped that such questions will be few, since the footnotes to the pages fully indicate the sources whence the materials were collected, and, consequently, the task of appraising and dealing with the deductions and inferences is made proportionately easy.
C. A. DENTON.