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THE appearance of the first of the series of small histories to be published under my editorship seems to call for a few words from me. The present History of England takes for granted the views and divisions laid down in my General Sketch of European History so far as they concern the particular history of England. The points in English history which were there touched on as parts of general history, with special regard to their bearings on the history of other countries, are here dealt with more fully, as a consecutive narrative of the history of the particular nation and country of England. It will perhaps be found to be more compressed than some other volumes of the series, as the history of our country naturally appealed to a wider circle than any other, and it was thought right to keep the book within as small a compass as might be.
The book is strictly the work of its author. I have throughout given it such a degree of supervision as to secure its general accuracy; but with regard to the details of the narrative, both as to their choice and their treatment, they are the author's own; on these points I have not thought it right to go beyond suggestion. It
may perhaps be hard for me to speak impartially of a book to whose general merit I am pledged by its mere appearance; but I can honestly say that it is the result of genuine work among the last and best lights on the subject. I believe it to be thoroughly trustworthy, and that it will give clearer and truer views on most of the points on which clear and true views are specially needed than can be found in any other book on the same small scale.
EDWARD A. FREEMAN.
IT having been suggested to me by persons engaged in education that the addition of some maps and the expansion of certain parts of the narrative would make this book more useful in schools, I have accordingly, and with Mr. Freeman's sanction, prepared this edition, which I trust will be found an improvement.