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PRINCIPAL OF SIXTH DISTRICT PUBLIC SCHOOL, CINCINNATI, OHIO.

PHILADELPHIA:

COWPERTHWAIT AND COMPANY.

TIE HEVI YORK
PUBLIC LIBRARY

2680124
ASTOR, LENOX AND
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

11928

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by

N. K. ROYSE,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

WESTCOTT & THOMSON, Stereotyrors and Electrotypers, Philada.

PREFACE,

Two convictions have prompted the author to the preparation of the present work: first, that American Literature has now attained a rank among the leading modern literatures such as entitles it to both the attention and admiration of the student; and secondly, that its study should precede that of English Literature for equally good reasons with those that have long since placed the study of American History before that of English History.

The plan of the work may be briefly stated as follows: first, to present a succinct history of the causes, natural, political, and otherwise, which have, from time to time, shaped the development of literature in our country; and secondly, to designate the leading representative writers of America, noticing such facts of their biography as concern their literary characters, also the history and a critical estimate of their main works, together with characteristic extracts from the same, and standard critical opinions regarding the authors.

The biographical and historical matter of the book has been collected from such sources as Duyckinck's Cyclopædia of American Literature, Cleveland's Compendium of American Literature, Alibone's Dictionary of Authors, Lippincott's Pronouncing Biographical Dictionary, The New American Cyclo pædia, R. W. Griswold's Poets and Poetry of America, Female

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