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The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey—Vol. 1 With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg   By: (1785-1859)

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[Transcriber's Notes: Text that was in italics in the original book is shown between underscore characters and text that was in small caps is shown as ALL CAPS. Footnotes from the article titles are at the end of the first paragraph of the article; all others follow the paragraph in which they are referenced. The variation in the spelling of some words is maintained from the original.]

[Illustration: (handwritten) Very truly yours, Thomas de Quincey.]

THE UNCOLLECTED WRITINGS OF THOMAS DE QUINCEY.

WITH A PREFACE AND ANNOTATIONS BY JAMES HOGG.

IN TWO VOLUMES. VOL. I.

[Illustration]

LONDON: SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO., PATERNOSTER SQUARE.

1890.

RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED,

LONDON & BUNGAY.

PREFACE.

' The last fruit off an old tree! ' This, in the words of WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR, is what I have now the honour to set before the public in these hitherto 'UNCOLLECTED WRITINGS OF THOMAS DE QUINCEY.'

It was my privilege to be associated intimately with the Author some thirty to forty years ago from the beginning of 1850 until his death in 1859.[1] Throughout the whole period during which he was engaged in preparing for the Press his Selections Grave and Gay , I assisted in the task.

[Footnote 1: DE QUINCEY, LEIGH HUNT, and MACAULAY all died in that year.]

Of the singularly pleasant literary intercourse of that memorable time I have given some reminiscences in Harper's Magazine for this month. I may yet combine in a Volume with these some amusing, scholarly letters in my possession, and a Selection of Papers from the original sources, which I feel warranted, by the Author's own estimate, in calling De Quincey's Choice Works . Meantime, in dealing with the various Essays and Stories here gathered together, I limit myself to such notes as are necessary to point out the special circumstances under which some of the papers were written; in others the nature of the evidence I have found as to the indisputable authorship.

My special opportunities, derived from constant companionship and the continuous discussion with DE QUINCEY of matters concerning his writings, gave me the key to some of the admirable papers here reprinted. It also entitles me to say, that he would have included a number of them in his Collected Works alongside the Suspiria de Profundis (Sighs from the Depths), had he lived to continue his labours.

When we find that most part of the Suspiria perhaps the highest reach of his intellect in impassioned power did not appear in the Selections at all, the reader will at once understand that, in the Author's own opinion, the Essays and Stories now first collected, were neither less dignified in purpose nor less finished in style than those which had passed under his hand in the fourteen volumes he nearly completed. Rather like the Suspiria , some of these papers were reserved as material upon the revision of which his energy might be fitly bestowed when health would permit.

The interesting papers which appeared in Tait's Magazine are all duly vouched for in that periodical. I have not touched any of the autobiographical matter which appeared in Tait , the Author having recast that as well as the Sketches from Childhood , published in The Instructor in the 'Autobiographic Sketches' with which he opened the Selections . The Casuistry of Duelling , indeed, appeared in Tait as part of the Autobiographic Series, but, practically, it stood as an independent paper... Continue reading book >>




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