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A Brief History of the English Language and Literature, Vol. 2   By: (1830-1902)

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Professor of the Theory, History, and Practice of Education in the University of St. Andrews, Scotland

Boston D. C. Heath & Co., Publishers 1887

Copyright, 1887,

By D. C. Heath & Co.


The present volume is the second part of the author's "English Language Its Grammar, History, and Literature." It includes the History of the English Language and the History of English Literature.

The first part comprises the department of Grammar, under which are included Etymology, Syntax, Analysis, Word Formation, and History, with a brief outline of Composition and of Prosody. The two may be had separately or bound together. Each constitutes a good one year's course of English study. The first part is suited for high schools; the second, for high schools and colleges.

The book, which is worthy of the wide reputation and ripe experience of the eminent author, is distinguished throughout by clear, brief, and comprehensive statement and illustration. It is especially suited for private students or for classes desiring to make a brief and rapid review, and also for teachers who want only a brief text as a basis for their own instruction.


This book provides sufficient matter for the four years of study required, in England, of a pupil teacher, and also for the first year at his training college. An experienced master will easily be able to guide his pupils in the selection of the proper parts for each year. The ten pages on the Grammar of Verse ought to be reserved for the fifth year of study.

It is hoped that the book will also be useful in Colleges, Ladies' Seminaries, High Schools, Academies, Preparatory and Normal Schools, to candidates for teachers' examinations and Civil Service examinations, and to all who wish for any reason to review the leading facts of the English Language and Literature.

Only the most salient features of the language have been described, and minor details have been left for the teacher to fill in. The utmost clearness and simplicity have been the aim of the writer, and he has been obliged to sacrifice many interesting details to this aim.

The study of English Grammar is becoming every day more and more historical and necessarily so. There are scores of inflections, usages, constructions, idioms, which cannot be truly or adequately explained without a reference to the past states of the language to the time when it was a synthetic or inflected language, like German or Latin.

The Syntax of the language has been set forth in the form of RULES. This was thought to be better for young learners who require firm and clear dogmatic statements of fact and duty... Continue reading book >>

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