WILLIAM J. HARRIS, A.R.S.I.
This bibliography has been compiled with the view of supplementing existing text books on English literary history, and assisting students in preparing for examinations in Bibliography and Literature. It will also be found of service to those who are working for the professional examinations of the Library Association.
Students of literature, more particularly of English literature, experience much difficulty in tracing the outside influences which at various periods, or, perhaps, speaking more correctly, at all periods, have affected or moulded our literature. The great foreign classics have exercised a direct and decided influence upon English literature and the object of this bibliography is to give in concise form the authors and titles, translations and dates of the first English translations of the chief foreign authors, and incidentally to enable students to note the effect of such translations on the works of many of our great imaginative writers.
So far as it has been possible to discover, no work of this kind exists in this country. Students are frequently reminded of the special need for such a bibliography as this, and to all interested in the subject it should serve a useful purpose, and perhaps help to fill a gap in literary bibliography.
Students have been asked such questions as—give the date of the first translation into English of Don Quixote, of The Arabian Nights, Boccaccio's Decameron, or of Homer. Such questions as these naturally involve some inquiry and research on the part of the student, and occupy a larger amount of time than is necessary for the purpose. Hence the necessity for a brief bibliography of this nature, which will show at a glance the first translations into English of the most important foreign classics, and save inquirers the fatigue of searching catalogues, bibliographies and similar works.
The dictionary form of arrangement has been adopted with the authors in alphabetical order. In some instances a work has been noticed twice, in which case the first entry will generally be found to be an edition, either issued in an incomplete form, or with a doubtful date. It has also been found necessary to enumerate in nearly all cases the separate works of each author; the complete works not appearing till a much later time. The date of original publication has occasionally been given in brackets, and where a date is seen in square brackets [ ], it denotes the approximate date of publication.
The anthologies, collections, folk and fairy tales, poetical and traditional literature have been placed in their national order under French, German, etc., many important minor works have been published in these forms, and many important poems have been first translated in these anthologies, often long before they have appeared in the author's translated works.
The most important of the Anglo-Saxon, etc., romances have been included in this Bibliography and appear