A Letter Book, Selected With an Introduction, on the History and Art of Letter-Writing (Classic Reprint)by George Saintsbury
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
Excerpt from A Letter Book, Selected With an Introduction, on the History and Art of Letter-Writing
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 préte 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 "Bodiey." 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'Aure-villy - 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.
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