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In the two volumes now offered to the Public under the title of “ The Town," the reader will find an account of London, partly topographical and historical, but chiefly recalling the memories of remarkable characters and events associated with its streets, between St. Paul's and St. James's ; being that part of the great highway of London which may be said to have constituted “ THE Town” when that term was commonly used to designate the metropolis.

The principal portion of these volumes appeared thirteen years ago in the “ Monthly Supplements to Leigh Hunt's London Journal,” under the title of - The Streets of London;" and these papers were accounted, by all who read them, - a comparative few,—to be among the pleasantest and most interesting of the Author's writings. It was observed by one reader, that “ Leigh Hunt has illumined the fog and smoke of London with a halo of glory, and peopled the streets and buildings with the life of past generations ;” and by another, that he “ should never grow tired of such reading."



In collecting and publishing these papers in a suitable form, and illustrating them with cuts, the Publishers trust that the volumes will be acceptable, not only to the admirers of Mr. Leigh Hunt's writings, but to readers generally; especially those to whom the present aspect and population of the streets from St. Paul's to St. James's are more familiar than the past.

It was the wish of the Publishers to have included the whole range of the metropolis in one publication ; but to do so, on the scale of the present work, would have tasked the exertions of Mr. Hunt too severely for the state of his health. The idea was, therefore, abandoned for the present; and the Author has been content to continue his retrospect of the sovereigns of England, so as to include the Court of St. James's.

The public approbation of these volumes will be the strongest inducement that the Author could desire to complete his account of London, by extending his researches east, west, north, and south; making the whole circuit of the town, and advancing with its streets into the very suburbs.


Nov. 1848.

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