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WITH NOTES FOR READERS, INTENDED TO POINT OUT FOR PARALLEL READING THE
THE first edition of this catalogue was issued, in 1866, as an alcove list, for a temporary purpose. Successive editions have followed, and the present, the sixth (4,000 copies), has been thoroughly revised, with the addition of notes, intended to assist readers in making choice of books, and to lead them to parallel reading where the works in question have a historical bearing. One of the standing objections to separate lists of fiction that they do not offer readers a chance for other selections - will thus be removed. A brief list of historical fiction, tales, poems, and plays, arranged chronologically under countries, but without shelf numbers, was first issued by this library in 1871, and, much enlarged, but still without any pretensions to completeness, was reissued in 1875. Meanwhile the application of its principle had been made in a few instances in the historical notes in the Lower Hall Catalogue of books in History, Biography, and Travel, issued in 1873. Following this guidance, the Public Library of Quincy, Massachusetts, issued, in 1875, a Catalogue of their collection, in which classifications of fiction to the same purpose were introduced, and notes of a similar character were supplied. One or two other libraries followed, with more or less scope, in the same direction. In issuing in August, 1876, a new edition of the Catalogue of the Roxbury Branch, the notes were made to cover illustrations of a fictitious as well as of a purely historical character. The most extensive effort of this kind, however, has been made in the present catalogue, though the classification is still far from perfect. That the best chance for success in inducing more careful habits of reading lies in the gradual awakening of a deeper interest by connecting, in one course of instruction, the imaginative and historical renderings of the same theme, may be deduced safely, it is thought, from the experiments already tried. The present catalogue is committed to this same mission.
The scope of these present notes has, it will be seen, admitted some productions chiefly of interest to scholarly persons; but, by omitting the shelf numbers in such cases, the ordinary reader will not be embarrassed, while the more careful student can trace them for himself in the other catalogues of the library.
Something has also been done in the way of helping the general public to comprehend the relative standing of the principal novelists. Under the head of SCOTT will be found a chronological arrangement of his tales and poems, showing their historical relations. The same treatment has been followed under JAMES, and certainly with less reason, though it may be questioned if in the line of historical development any other novelist has, in his day, so uniformly interested the mass of novel readers.
Little more can be claimed for these distinctive additions to a popular catalogue than that it is the beginning of a new combination, which may yet accomplish something worthy to be done. Its value, however, will not wholly depend on the estimate to be put on historical fiction as a substitute for more sober chronicles. Various opinions on this point were quoted in the preface to the separate issue already referred to, and doubtless others equally respectable could be culled from the opponents of this class of writing. Fielding represents one extreme, when he says that "the difference between the historian and me is, that with him everything is false but the names and dates, while with me nothing is false but these." Sir Francis Palgrave, on the other hand, after trying to mould into an historical novel the material used subsequently in his "History of Normandy," said, "Historical novels are mortal enemies to history." But allow one extreme or the other to be truth, or place that jewel between the two, it still remains to be said that the historical novel can be made an allurement and a stepping-stone for the pastime-reader, to something better than the mere dispelling of ennui.
A few minor writings, not fiction, will be found under their appropriate entries, because they are parts of collections mostly fiction, which are included in this classification.
Assistance in the notes has been rendered by Mr. F. B. Perkins, the Office Secretary of the Library, and in the proof-reading by Mr. William H. Foster. A word of praise is also due to the labor bestowed upon it in the office of the City Printers.
PUBLIC LIBRARY, BOSTON, March 31, 1877.
PUBLIC LIBRARY OF THE CITY OF BOSTON.
BOOKS OF ENGLISH PROSE FICTION, INCLUDING TRANSLATIONS, JUVENILE FICTION, AND SOME JUVENILE WORKS NOT FICTION.
[Marco Paul in] Boston.
Contents. Vol. I. Bruno; Willie and the mortgage; The strait gate. II. The little Louvre; Prank; Emina. III. Virginia: Timboo and Joliba; Timboo and Fanny. IV. The Harper establishment: Franklin; The studio. V. Story of ancient history; Story of English history; Story of American history. VI. John True: Elfred; The museum. VII. The engineer; Rambles among the Alps; The three gold dollars. VIII. The Gibraltar gallery: The alcove; Dialogues. IX. The great elm: Aunt Margaret; Vernon. X. Carl and Jocko: Lapstone; Orkney. XI. Judge Justin; Minigo; Jasper. XII. Congo; Viola; Little Paul.
Same. 32 v. Namely: :
Shelf numbers above 2110 in the Notes are in the Bates Hall..
The Rollo series. Rollo at play
Rollo at school