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As supplementary to the historical and biographical study of English literature as outlined in the text, the student will find it valuable to have as a background a further knowledge of the history of England, including the manners and customs in various periods; of the history of the changes and developments of the English language; and of the fundamental principles of English versification. He will be helped also by a study of the geography of the British Isles, and by a knowledge of English country-life and town-life, and of the literary landmarks of London, Edinburgh, etc. Only a few books, of general information, can be mentioned here:
I. For the political and social history of England: Green's History of the English People, 4 vols. (Harper), or his Short History of the English People, 1 vol. (Harper); S. R. Gardiner's Student's History of England (Longmans); Cheyney's A Short History of England (Ginn); Traill's Social England, 6 vols. (Putnam), in the illustrated edition, is particularly valuable and interesting for the light it throws on social conditions, and for its numerous excellent illustrations.
II. For the history of the English language: Emerson's Short History of the English Language (Macmillan); Lounsbury's History of the English Language (Holt).
III. For the principles of English versification, and the kinds and forms of English poetry: Parson's English Versification (Leach); Corson's Primer of English Verse (Ginn); Alden's English Verse (Holt); Gummere, Handbook of Poetics (Ginn).
IV. For the geography of the British Isles, literary landmarks, etc., Baedeker's Great Britain and London; Howitt's Homes and Haunts of the British Poets (Routledge); Hutton's Literary Landmarks of London and Literary Landmarks of Edinburgh (Harper).
V. The student may be referred also to several standard general histories of English literature: Taine's History of English Literature (abridged), 1 vol. (Holt); Jusserand's Literary History of the English People, 2 vols. (Putnam); Chamber's Cyclopedia of English Literature, 3 vols. (Lippincott).
For the literature before the Conquest, the following books are helpful: Ten Brink's Early English Literature (Holt); Brooke's History of Early English Literature (Macmillan); Lewis' The Beginnings of English Literature (Ginn).
For the literature from the Conquest to Chaucer: Schofield's English Literature from the Norman Conquest to Chaucer (Macmillan); Snell's The Age of Chaucer (Bell).
Ryland's Chronological Outlines of English Literature (Macmillan) is a valuable table of authors, works, and events, arranged year by year.
VI. General collections of standard English poetry and prose will be found convenient when access to a large library is difficult: A. POETRY: Manly's English Poetry, 1170-1892 (Ginn); The Oxford Book of Verse, 1250-1900 (Clarendon Press); Palgrave's Golden Treasury, series 1 and 2 (Macmillan); Pancoast's Standard English Poems (Holt); Ward's English Poets (Macmillan); Hale's Longer English Poems (Macmillan). B. PROSE: Craik's Selections from English Prose, 5 vols. (Macmillan); Pancoast's Standard English Prose (Holt); Manly's English Prose, 1137-1900 (Ginn.)
VII. Convenient school editions of standard works and selections will be found listed in the catalogues of the various publishers. Prominent among these series are The Riverside Literature Series (Houghton); English Readings Series (Holt); Everyman's Library (Dent); The Scott Library, Camelot Series (Scott); Golden Treasury Series, Temple Classics, Temple Dramatists (Macmillan); Gateway Series (American Book Co.); Standard English Classics, Athenæum Press Series (Ginn); Belles Lettres Series, Heath's English Classics (Heath); Pocket English Classics, Highways and Byways Series (Macmillan); The Clarendon Press Series (Oxford).