A Compendious History of English Literature and of the English Language, Volume I
The History of English Literature and Language may be recommended to the student as a guide always sure, and as satisfactory as its limits will admit, to the gathered harvest of a thousand years -- from ALFRED the Great to VICTORIA -- now existing in a language radically identical for the whole of that period, the common property of all who are born to its use, a personal endowment not to be limited by local accidents, but the rightful possession of those who "claim SHAKESPEARE's language for their mother tongue." As a writer, the principal characteristics of Mr. CRAIK are good sense and a command of ample information, derived usually from the original sources. He has not aimed a producing a brilliant book. From the number of topics necessary to be glanced at, much of it necessarily assumes the appearance of a brief catalogue; but the critical judgments of the writers, as they come under review, are unpretending and correct. - Summary from The New York Times, April 26, 1864.
Genre(s): Writing & Linguistics