Billeder på siden


In editing this volume I have differed from the plan of selection adopted by Bishop Stubbs, in that I have included illustrative material not strictly documentary; and I have departed from the method of Professor Hart - from whom I have borrowed the name, source-book in that I have included the great constitutional and legal documents which furnish the framework of the history of national development.

Though I have differed in details of editing from these learned scholars, to whom students and teachers of history are under great obligations, yet I have striven for the same result that they have so successfully attained, in that their works are not only useful tools for the classroom and authoritative reference works for the library but are interesting to the general reader.

The scope of this collection of sources is such as to make it available for use with any text-book upon Eng. lish History. It extends from the first mention of Britain by ancient historians to the last great treaty with the Boers of South Africa. Thanks to the liberality of my publishers, who have regarded the work from the educational rather than the commercial point of view, I have been enabled to add to its usefulness by including much illustrative material hitherto inaccessible to most students.

The first part of the volume is devoted to a working bibliography of sources. An attempt has been made to cite nearly every important collection by title; and, where an omission has been found to be necessary, the student is furnished with such bibliographical information as will enable him to find material for the epoch under consideration. I desire to express my obligations in this department to the erudite and invaluable works of Professor Charles Gross and of the late Sir Thomas Duffus Hardy; to them the student must always turn for bibliographical detail.

In editing this volume I have in most cases modernized the spelling, punctuation, and capitalization of the excerpts, believing that documents are most useful in their most readable form. I have, however, preserved the original style when necessary to bring out the full effect of the selections. In selecting matter from printed texts I have sought to excerpt from the most approved editions without reference to date of their publication. In choosing from reprints I have preferred the official editions. In deciding upon translations I have selected and edited those which in my opinion most faithfully present the meaning of the best manuscripts. The sentiments expressed in the selections are those of the respective authors; I am obliged to disclaim any responsibility for them.

I desire to express my gratitude to authors and publishers for the use of much valuable material. I have taken pains to acknowledge special obligations by indicating my sources at the close of each selection. I am especially grateful for the many privileges and kindnesses which I have received from Philip R. Uhler, Provost of the Peabody Library, and his assistants, all of whom have been untiring in their efforts to aid me in my work.

I shall be under obligations to my fellow-labourers in the field of history if they will advise me of any sins of omission or commission which they may note.


May, 1900

« ForrigeFortsæt »