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WORLD

AN INTRODUCTORY STUDY

BY

WILLIAM L. RICHARDSON

AND

JESSE M. OWEN
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, LEWIS INSTITUTE, CHICAGO

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#6435806

COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY WILLIAM L. RICHARDSON AND JESSE M. OWEN

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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PREFACE

This volume attempts to give a general survey of literature. It is in a sense the outcome of work done continuously for over twenty years in classes in literature at Hull-House, at Lewis Institute, and elsewhere in Chicago.

It has not been our purpose to furnish an inclusive and detailed compendium of literature nor to enter any of the numerous bypaths of literary criticism. Our aim has been rather to present in straightforward language a brief study of the literature of each of the major nations. We give in general the accepted judgments. We indicate the main currents, devote some attention to all writers of real consequence, and offer relatively full studies of authors who are recognized as the great figures in literature. In short, the book contains what we deem to be the essential facts that everyone should know about the literature of the world. Our observation has been that a person who may be well informed regarding the chief writers of England and America, for instance, has all too frequently only a vague impression of the literature of—let us say-Italy and Spain, or of Russia and Scandinavia. He may specialize in one direction, but show astonishing ignorance of the field of letters as a whole. We hope, therefore, that this general outline of literature in one volume—the first of its kind, so far as we know—may serve a useful purpose.

Generally speaking, each chapter gives the historical background, some information about matters of language and racial connection, and an indication of the outstanding characteristics of the people. Then follows a chronological survey of the literature. Extracts from the works studied are occasionally included where these will serve to elucidate the text, but it is obvious that this element must be comparatively slight in a volume of such propor

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