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A Letter Book by George Saintsbury

+------------------------------------------------------------+ | Transcriber's Note | | | | Obvious typographical errors have been corrected in | | this text. For a complete list, please see the bottom of | | this document. | | | | Text printed using the Greek alphabet in the original book | | is shown as follows: [Greek: logos]. | | | | Superscript text in the original book is shown as follows: | | w^ch | +------------------------------------------------------------+

A LETTER BOOK

A LETTER BOOK

SELECTED WITH AN INTRODUCTION ON THE HISTORY AND ART OF LETTER-WRITING

BY

GEORGE SAINTSBURY

LONDON G. BELL AND SONS, LTD. NEW YORK: HARCOURT, BRACE AND CO. 1922

PREFACE

When my publishers were good enough to propose that I should undertake this book, they were also good enough to suggest that the Introduction should be of a character somewhat different from that of a school-anthology, and should attempt to deal with the Art of Letter-writing, and the nature of the Letter, as such. I formed a plan accordingly, by which the letters, and their separate Prefatory Notes, might be as it were illustrations to the Introduction, which was intended in turn to be a guide to them. Having done this with a proper _Pourvu que Dieu lui prete vie_ referring to both book and author, I thought it well to look up next what had been done in the way before me, at least to the extent of what the London Library could provide me in circumstances of enforced abstinence from the Museum and from "Bodley." From its catalogue I selected a curious eighteenth-century _Art of Letter Writing_, and four nineteenth and earliest twentieth century books--Roberts's _History of Letter Writing_ (1843) with Pickering's ever-beloved title-page and his beautiful clear print; the _Litterature Epistolaire_ of Barbey d'Aurevilly--a critic never to be neglected though always to be consulted with eyes wide open and brain alert; finally, two Essays in Dr. Jessopp's _Studies by a Recluse_ and in the _Men and Letters_ of Mr. Herbert Paul, once a very frequent associate of mine. The title of the first mentioned book speaks it pretty thoroughly. "The Art of Letter Writing: Divided into Two Parts. The First: Containing Rules and Directions for writing letters on all sorts of subjects [_this line as well as several others is Rubricked_] with a variety of examples equally elegant and instructive.


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