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The preparation of the Imperial Readers has been undertaken primarily with a view to provide an alternative course of lessons for schools using the Excelsior and Consecutive Narrative Readers ;three sets of reading books being the minimum recommended by the Committee of Council.
The experience gained in the production of the two former series has led to the adoption in the present course of several important improvements.
In addition to a large amount of valuable original matter, forming the staple of the work, a judicious selection of standard pieces in prose and verse by favourite authors has been included, an opportunity being thus found of introducing the scholar to a number of the most popular specimens of English literature; while, by the introduction of subjects of an attractive nature, the aim has been to awaken the liveliest interest on the part of the reader, and at the same time to impart as much information on common objects and in science as was compatible with the extent of the several books and the age of the pupils for whom they are intended.
Upon the illustrations special care has been bestowed, from a conviction of their educational importance. They have for the most part been