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OF ENGLISH DRAMA ·

BY

ARNOLD WYNNE, M.A.

OXFORD

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

334372

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

LONDON EDINBURGH GLASGOW NEW YORK
TORONTO MELBOURNE BOMBAY

HUMPHREY MILFORD M.A.
PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY

8

PREFACE

In spite of the fact that an almost superabundant literature of exposition has gathered round early English drama, there is, I believe, still room for this book. Much criticism is available. But the student commonly searches through it in vain for details of the plots and characters, and specimens of the verse, of interludes and plays which time, opportunity, and publishers combine to withhold from him. Notable exceptions to this generalization exist. Such are Sir A. W. Ward's monumental English Dramatic Literature, and that delightful volume, J. A. Symonds' Shakespeare's Predecessors; but the former extends its survey far beyond the limits of early drama, while the latter too often passes by with brief mention works concerning which the reader would gladly hear more. Some authors have written very fully, but upon only a section of preShakespearian dramatic work. Of others it may generally be said that their purposes limit to criticism their treatment of all but the best known plays. The present volume attempts a more comprehensive plan. It presents, side by side with criticism, such data as may enable the reader to form an independent judgment. Possibly for the first time in a book of this scope almost all the plays of the University Wits

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