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BY

ADOLPHUS WILLIAM WARD, M.A.

Fellow of St. Peter's College, Cambridge

Professor of History and English Literature in Owens College, Manchester

VOL. I

London

MACMILLAN AND CO.

[All rights reserved ]

10443:5
The 428-75-3

A

1878. Oct. 11,

Dupl. money.

kl. I-l

OXFORD:

BY E. PICKARD HALL AND J. H. STACY,

PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY.

INTRODUCTION.

IN the following pages I shall essay to trace the origin, and to sketch the most important part of the history, of a literary growth which I have long studied with no common love. I am well aware of the difficulties besetting any such attempt, and of the defects which even a surer and more competent hand than mine could hardly be expected altogether to avoid. Nor do I claim for this book any merit beyond that of an endeavour in the direction of completeness within definite limits. These limits it may be in the first instance convenient 'to state.

I propose, then, to sketch the history of English Dramatic Literature from its origin to the close of the reign of Queen Anne. It is no part of my design to rewrite X what for the greater part of this period has been so well written already,—the Annals of the English Stage1. But with reference both to the times before the Stuart Restoration, and to so much of those after that event as falls within my boundary-line, I shall seek consistently to treat of our dramatic literature in connexion with the national stage, its proper vehicle of presentment. Such contributions to our drama as are unworthy of a

1 Mr. J. Payne Collier's work has, I need hardly say, been of the utmost use to me in many parts of my own. Its value is too well known to require more than a single word of cordial recognition.

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