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SHAKSPEARE

AND HIS TIMES

Including the Biography of the Poet

CRITICISM ON HIS GENIUS AND WRITINGS; A NEW CHRONOLOGY OF HIS PLAYS; A DISQUISITION ON THE

OBJECT OF HIS SONNETS; AND A HUSTORY OF THE MANNERS, CUSTOMS, AMICSEMENTS,

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PARIS
BAUDRY'S EUROPEAN LIBRARY
3, QUAT MALAQUAIS, NEAR THE PONT DES ARTS,

AND STASSIN AND XAVIER, 9, RUE DU COQ, NEAR THE LOUVRE.
SOLD ALSO RY AMSOT, RUE DE LA PAIS; THUGUY, BOULEVARD DNEJTALIENS; ROCK'S AVFXAR'S
KIE RICHELIEI LEOPOLD MICHELSEN, LEIPZIG; AND BY ALL IR PRIPIL

BOOKSELLEKS ON THE CONTINE1

1843

FENOX LIBRARA

NEW YORK

PREFACE.

Thouge two centuries have now elapsed, since the death of Shakspeare, no attempt has hitherto been made to render him the medium for a comprehensive and connected view of the Times in which he lived.

Yet, if any man be allowed to fill a station thus conspicuous and important, Shakspeare has undoubtedly the best claim to the distinction; not only from his pre-eminence as a dramatic poet, but from the intimate relation which bis works bear to the manners, customs, superstitions, and amusements of his age.

LIBRARY

Struck with the interest which a work of this kind, if properly executed, might possess, the author was induced, several years ago, to commence the undertaking, with the express intention of blending with the detail of nummers, etc. such a portion of criticism, biography, and literary history, as should render tłe whole still more attractive and complete.

YORK

In attempting this, it has been his aim to place Shakspeare in the foreground of the picture, and to throw around him, in groups more or less distinct and full, the various objects of his design; giving them prominency and light, according to their greater or smaller connection with the principal figure. More

especially has it been his wish, to infuse throughout the whole plan, whether considered in respect to its entire scope, or to the parts of which it is composed, that degree of unity and integrity, of relative proportion and just bearing, without which neither harmony, simplicity, nor effect, can be expected or produced.

With a view, also, to distinctness and perspicuity of clucidation, the whole has been distributed into three parts or pictures, entitled, -- "Suar

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