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IST, FROM FEBRUARY 28TH, 1871, TO MARCH 19TH, 1874,
2ND, FROM MARCH 20TH, 1874, TO JULY 22ND, 1878,
Price 4s. 6d. each, have been published.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
THE reception accorded to the First Edition of these “Annals” was of a character sufficient to show that the book filled up in an acceptable way a vacant space in that department of literature concerned in the production of works combining the specialities of ready reference for the student with useful details for the general reader. The entire edition was exhausted within a few months from publication, while the approval given by the Press was so marked and universal as to excite a belief that it had reference rather to the general design of the volume than to the manner in which that design had been completed in all its minute features. This became more apparent to the writer as the task of revision was carried on. With every desire to set forth occurrences accurately and fully, he found painstaking labour had not been able to exclude errors, and that even some events of national interest were omitted altogether. This was the case particularly in the first half of the book, and arose from the difficulty of fixing at the commencement of so considerable an undertaking the precise scale necessary to be applied to the Annals of each year. In the present edition all this has been put right. The entire period embraced in the book has been gone over a second time day by day; name by name and date by date have been verified or corrected, and additions made to an extent best explained by contrasting certain details in the two issues. In the First Edition the period between 1837 and 1847 was embraced within 127 pages ; in the present it is extended to 230 : another addition of 50 pages has been made between 1848 and 1860. Nor does even this indicate all the changes, for the careful condensation of some of the larger articles has permitted scores of pages of altogether new matter to be introduced without adding inconveniently to the bulk of the volume, or lessening in any way its usefulness as a complete handbook of modern history. The Obituary notices alone have been extended from 425 in the First Edition to above 1,000 in the present. The cycle of History has been further completed by the addition of Annals of the last two years, as many as 46 pages being occupied by an impartial exhibition of the wonderful series of events marking the latter half of 1870. The War is made to tell its own story as it occurred, without reference to any special theory explanatory of its injustice on one side or necessity on the other. Proclamations and addresses, sieges and engagements, speak fully for themselves. The Table of Administrations during her Majesty's reign has been corrected down to the present time, and its usefulness increased by a record of divisions showing majorities determining the fate of each Ministry.
One other fact may be mentioned. The last edition of the "Annals" extended 10 734 pages; the present contains 1,034 pages.