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THE CROWN

HISTORY OF ENGLAND

BEING

OUR COUNTRY'S HISTORY FROM THE EARLIEST RECORDS

OF THE KINGDOM, TO OUR OWN TIMES.

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PREFACE.

This Volume is an abridgement of my “ Popular History of England” in eight octavo volumes, and is executed by a member of my family, under my general superintendence. In the Introduction to the “ Popular History,” speaking of Goldsmith's admission that “the very name of abridgement implies imperfection," I said—“It is not the mere want of space that constitutes the inherent defect of an abridgement; it is that the scale of its composition is not uniform.” This defect, I believe, will not be discovered in the present book. It has been the continuous labour of nearly three years, not accomplished by making entire extracts of the most striking passages of a larger history, and holding them together by short connecting threads of narrative; but by recasting the whole upon a scale of composition which, aiming at uniformity, enables the several parts to retain their just proportions. Thus, I may venture to state that there is no important fact of our political and social progress therein omitted. Space is gained, without leaving awkward gaps in a story which has no long intervals in which the historian can say “ all is barren.”

The “Popular History” was entitled a “ History of Society and Government.” The “Crown History” embraces, in the same way, the State History and the Domestic. In a few cases, there are separate chapters on the National Industry, on Literature, on the Arts ; but in every period will be found

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