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This History of England was planned and has been written with an especial view to its use in Schools, and among younger students who read the subject. It contains, first, a connected relation of the main facts of the political and constitutional history in due chronological order; secondly, a sketch as thorough as space would allow, of the course and progress of the language, literature, and social life of the English people, in a series of chapters at the end of the various periods into which the history naturally falls. While I have not shrunk from noticing institutions and events for the full understanding of which the beginner may require the teacher's oral help; and while I have thought it well to give the most dramatic and pathetic incidents of the story wherever I could in the very words of a contemporary authority, I have nevertheless tried to write in a simple, straightforward style, and have added a brief glossary of those few unusual or technical words I have been unable to avoid, or explain in the text.

Maps, Plans, Tables, and Pedigrees have been supplied in sufficient detail to enable the reader to get a true idea of the relative positions of the persons or places named in the text.

To the counsels of friends at present engaged in active school work I have everywhere tried to pay attention but no matter how carefully prepared a text-book may be, the results to be gained from its use must chiefly depend upon the teacher, and those who have taught history themselves will know that it is an exceptionally hard subject to deal with satisfactorily.

It is neither customary nor needful to give a list of the books used in preparing such a work as this. It will be enough, I hope, for me to say that I have written it from the main original documents upon which our knowledge of English history must depend, though I have not, of course, omitted to consult modern writers. Those of my friends to whom I owe special gratitude for help or advice should know that I feel it, though their names are not recorded here.

The Index will give the main references, and the headings affixed to each section will be found to yield a running epitome of the contents of the book.

This first part, for which I alone am responsible, ends with the death of Henry VII. : this I regard as essentially a deep dividing line in the history of this country. The second part, on the same plan and scale, Mr. Mackay, Professor of Modern History in Liverpool College, has been for some time engaged upon. Although each part is complete in itself, the two in one volume form a complete History of England. The present edition has been revised throughout.


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