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THE hope that this work may find a place of usefulness among our school manuals rests upon its method. Probably all teachers of Literature in college have felt the embarrassment caused by the inability of the average Freshman to appreciate form in its relation to literary expression. The aim of these studies is to assist in meeting this difficulty by furnishing a manual for use in preparatory schools which shall combine the study of form with the interpretation of Literature.
It seems reasonable that in America school work in Literature should begin with American authors; and that hand in hand with the study of their writings should go the study of form in prose and verse. Therefore selections from our best writers have been given, with analysis of their form and interpretation of their content. The selections are, of course, fragmentary; and if the use of the book leads to nothing further, it will not be very helpful. But these fragments, presented as they are, and studied according to the suggestions offered, may whet the appetite for wider reading and broader study. The criticism
is intended to be suggestive, and the lists of questions to serve as points of departure for the teacher.
Such a book, slight as it is, is not composed without help from a wide variety of sources. Special obligations are due to E. C. Stedman's "Poets of America,” and to "The Library of American Literature,” edited by E. C. Stedman and Ellen M. Hutchinson, to Professor Tyler's "History of American Literature,” and to Professor Whitcomb's "Outlines of American Literature." For the use of copyright material thanks are due and are gladly rendered to Houghton, Mifflin & Co., The Editor of the "Boston Pilot," Small, Maynard & Co., The Lothrop Publishing Co., Charles Scribner's Sons, Lippincott's Magazine, D. Appleton & Co., and E. P. Dutton & Co. Mr. William Evarts Benjamin, publisher of "The Library of American Literature," has courteously permitted the reproduction of copyrighted portraits of Freneau and Margaret Fuller. To Mr. O. Reich of Cincinnati, Ohio, thanks are due for the portraits of Whitman and Edwards, and to Mr. H. W. Lanier of New York for the portrait of his distinguished father.