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TO

GEORGE LILLIE CRAIK,

PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE, QUEEN'S COLLEGE, BELFAST,

Is a Memorial of a Friendship

WHICH COMMENCED NEARLY FORTY YEARS AGO,

IN OUR MUTUAL DESIRE TO MAKE KNOWLEDGE A COMMON

POSSESSION,

INSTEAD OF AN EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY,

I INSCRIBE, WITH THE TRUEST REGARD, THESE SHADOWS

OF A PAST AGE OF LETTERS.

CHARLES KNIGHT.

INTRODUCTION.

PROPOSE in this little work to attempt some delineations of a series of personages whose doings may, upon a hasty

view, appear to have too much of a commercial character to be generally interesting. At any rate they may seem more fitted for the valuable but somewhat dry details of bibliography, than to be included under a title which may indicate something as much akin to fiction as to fact. In 1851 and 1852 I wrote for Mr. Dickens's Household Words' a series of sketches under the title of Shadows ;' by which title I sought to indicate their half ideal, half real, character. Those Shadows' had for the most part the interest which belongs to romance as well as to history. The subjects of the present outlines, with a few exceptions, are little fitted for imaginative pictures of startling adventures, or of curious details of domestic life. But they have another sort of interest. They flit before me, ever accompanied with shadows of many of the immortals of literature. They are obscure and ill-defined until the period of the Restoration ; but

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