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THE POETICAL WORKS
DAVID MASSON, M.A., LL.D.
PROFESSOR OF RHETORIC AND ENGLISH LITERATURE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF
MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
First Edition, printed May 1877.
THE TEXT of the Poems in this edition will, it is hoped, be found very accurate, having been carefully prepared by the Editor for the larger Library Edition, called "The Cambridge Edition," in three volumes Evo. The INTRODUCTIONS are, with some revision, the same as those given in "The Golden Treasury Edition" in two volumes 18m0., and are an adaptation of the more extensive editorial matter of "The Cambridge Edition." Their purpose is to elucidate the circumstances, motives, and intention, of each of the Poems individually; they contain, therefore, a great deal of such information as is usually referred to Notes; and, if read in their chronological order, they will be found to supply also, after their fashion, a continuous and rather minute Literary Biography of the Poet. I regret that the wording of the Introduction to Sonnet XXIII. no longer corresponds with fact. When that paragraph was written, the house No. 19 York Street, Westminster, so interesting as having been Milton's residence from 1652 to 1660, was still in existence, as there described; but, when I was last on the spot, only the ruined shell was left, and that too, I hear, is now demolished.
PARADISE LOST :-
I. Earliest Editions of the Poem
II. Origin of the Poem and History of i.s Composition
III. Scheme and Meaning of the Poem.
Commendatory Verses, prefixed to the Second Edition
Author's Preface on "The Verse"