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AND THE

Best LITERATURE OF ENGLAND AND AMERICA

CONTAINING

THE LIVES OF ENGLISH AND AMERICAN AUTHORS IN STORY FORM. THEIR
PORTRAITS, THEIR HOMES AND THEIR PERSONAL TRAITS.

HOW THEY WORKED AND WHAT THEY WROTE

TOGETHER WITH

CHOICE SELECTIONS FROM THEIR WRITINGS

EMBRACING

THE GREAT POETS OF ENGLAND AND AMERICA, FAMOUS NOVELISTS, DISTINGUISHED ESSAYISTS AND
HISTORIANS, OUR HUMORISTS, NOTED JOURNALISTS AND MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTORS, STATESMEN
IN LITERATURE, NOTED WOMEN IN LITERATURE, POPULAR WRITERS FOR YOUNG

PEOPLE, GREAT ORATORS AND PUBLIC LECTURERS

COMPILED AND EDITED BY

WILLIAM WILFRED BIRDSALL, A. B., Principal of Central School, Philadelphia

RUFUS M. JONES, A. M., Professor of Philosophy, Haverford College, and others

SUMPTUOUSLY ILLUSTRATED WITH CRIGINAL DRAWINGS

BY CHARLES DANA GIBSON, CORWIN K. LINSON AND OTHERS

ALSO Half-TONE PORTRAITS, PHOTOGRAPHS OF AUTHORS' HOMES

AND MANY OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT

AMERICAN BOOK & BIBLE HOUSE,

PHILADELPHIA, PA.

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HE most priceless possession of the people of England and America

is their literature. By their inheritance from their ancestors, and
by the work of their own genius, they are, in this respect, the
richest people on whom the sun has ever shone. There are great
epic poems in Greek and Latin; Germany has produced great
poets and far-seeing philosophers; France has given to the world

historians and novelists; and every nation has contributed to make up the sum of literature worthy of a place in the world's library of masterpieces. But in the English language have been written the stories which best portray the human character, the sweetest songs, the most noble poems; the English historian has seen most deeply into the mists and darkness which shroud the ages of the past; the English philosopher has most clearly understood the forces which move men to action and the laws which control their minds; and all these-poet, historian, traveler, novelist, and philosopher—have poured out their souls in a language whose range and compass express better than any other human tongue all the varying thoughts, emotions, and purposes of man. To know English literature is a liberal education ; to love the poems of Milton and Shakespeare, of Longfellow and Tennyson; to take fire at the burning words of Carlyle or to be moved by the noble periods of Emerson; to be stirred by the eloquence of Pitt or Webster; to strive with Gladstone to solve the questions of scholarship or the weightier problems of statesmanship; or to be lifted by Farrar or Spurgeon or MacLaren or Beecher to higher planes of spiritual life and thought, is to be in touch with the

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