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The Queen as patron of Letters
George Gascoigne, poet and dramatist, presenting his Hemetes the Heremyte (c. 1579) to Elizabeth
THE CAMBRIDGE ANTHOLOGIES are intended for
the general reader, who, whilst he is familiar with the greater masters, has little leisure, and, it may be, little inclination, to become a professed student of literature. They seek to provide such a reader with first-hand knowledge of the literary atmosphere and social conditions in which these masterpieces were created. At present, this need is satisfied only by reference to histories of literature, which have too many preoccupations to deal justly with it, or to authorities even less accessible.
It is the object of this series to let each age speak for itself, and to give coherence and prominence to what seem to be its significant features. Thus, the thought, temper, manners and activities of the period of Shakespeare, which is the theme of the first two volumes, are exemplified in selections from contemporary poetry and prose. The former illustrates the literary interests, models and aspirations, as well as the lyrical and rhetorical quality of the time; the latter gives a picture of the Elizabethan Englishman, painted by himself, in pursuit of his business, sport
Volumes dealing in like manner with other periods will follow, and the series will include a history of English literature for general readers.
7. DOVER WILSON
W. T. YOUNG