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Biography of Literary Characters
GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND.
PUBLISHED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF THE COUNCIL
ROYAL SOCIETY OF LITERATURE.
THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LITERATURE was founded by Royal Charter, granted in the year 1825 by His Majesty King George IV., for the purpose of promoting Literature in its more important branches, with a special attention to the improvement of the English Language.
The plan proposed for effecting this object, included-1. The reading at the Society's meetings and the publication in its Transactions, of papers on History, Philosophy, Poetry, Philology, and the Fine Arts :-2. The adjudication of honorary rewards for works of great literary merit, and for important discoveries in literature :-3. The publication of inedited remains of ancient literature, and of such works as may be of great intrinsic value, but not of that popular character which readily commands the attention of publishers.
In furtherance of the first portion of this plan, the Council of the Society has already published six parts, making three volumes in quarto, of its Transactions, and a fourth volume in octavo, the first of a new series, comprising researches into the origin of different languages, elucidations of ancient monuments, as medals, vases, and statues, disquisitions on points of ancient geography, classical history, and archæology in general, speculations on the hieroglyphical language of Egypt, the chronology of its several royal dynasties, and the age of its most celebrated monuments,—the illustration of Greek and Latin inscriptions, with other subjects relating to the history and developement of the human intellect. A fifth volume is in the press, and nearly ready for publication.
The second division of the Society's plan has likewise been to some extent carried into effect. Two gold medals, placed at their disposal by its Royal founder, were annually awarded by the Council during His Majesty's life, viz. :