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The nineteen men of letters whose work is reviewed in this volume represent an important halfcentury of our national literary life. The startingpoint is the year 1809, the date of A History of New York by Diedrich Knickerbocker.No author is included whose reputation does not rest, in part, on some notable book published before 1860.

Readers of modern French criticism will not need to be told that the plan of dividing the studies into short sections was taken from Faguet's admirable Dix-Septième Siècle."

I am indebted for many helpful criticisms to Mr. James R. Joy, to Miss Mary Charlotte Priest, and especially to Mr. Lindsay Swift of the Boston Public Library.

L. H. V.

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