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OF

FAMOUS WOMEN.

BY

M. BETHAM-EDWARDS,
AUTHOR OF “KITTY,” “DR. JACOB,” “A YEAR IN WESTERN FRANCE,

ETC., ETC., ETC.

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WEST CORNER OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD, LONDON.

E. P. DUTTON & CO., NEW YORK.

MDCCCLXXX.

KD 2064

HARYATD COLLEGE

Oct 8, 1941
LIBRARY

(The rights of translation and reproduction are reserved.) PREFACE.

I HAVE ever been of opinion that a brief biography, to be read at a sitting without fatigue, yet so comprehensive as to embrace the leading features of life and character, is one of the most attractive forms of popular literature. The scholar may enjoy at leisure such voluminous biographies as are sure to find a place on his library shelves; for instance, the famous life of Johnson, Southey's delightful chronicles of the Wesley Family, Lockhart's life of Scott, Forster's life of Goldsmith, and so on. But ordinary readers, and especially young readers, have neither time nor opportunity for such works; they read short biographies, or at all, consequently many of the best books in our language remain inaccessible to the majority of the reading world. Handy, epitomized editions of our great classics in biographical literature, seem more needed than ever in these days of inordinate book-buying and book-skimming; and to multiply them, one of the surest methods of making this taste for reading profitable. The object of the present work, however, is rather to popularize less known memories of remarkable persons than to abridge those already famous; and also to delineate some lives which, although full of charm and interest, have not hitherto found a worthy biographer. Except in one case—that of Caroline Herschel-no subject of these sketches has as yet been made familiar to us by competent writers. Eliza. beth Carter, it is true, has long since received justice at the hands of her grateful pupil and nephew; but his volumes are too ponderous to find general acceptance, and are now only to be occasionally met with on bookstalls.

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