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BIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM,
PETER BAYNE, M. A.
AUTHOR OF “THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, SOCIAL AND
59 WASHINGTON STREET.
CINCINNATI: GEORGE S. BLANCHARD.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by
GOULD AND LINCOLN,
NOTICE OF THE AUTHOR.
EARLY in 1855, the publishers of this volume had their attention directed to a critique in the Edinburgh Witness, by Hugh Miller, upon a work entitled, “ The Christian Life, Social and Individual.” The book had issued from a Scottish provincial press ; its somewhat commonplace title gave no promise of originality; and its author was quite unknown to fame. It was not strange, therefore, that the Editor of the Witness suffered it to lie for some time unnoticed on his table. When at length he found leisure to take it in hand, he hastened to make an apology for his neglect, and to do ample justice to its author. “The master idea,” he said, “on which it has been formed is, we deem, wholly original, and we regard the execution of it as not less happy than the conception is good.” Some of the Biographies,” he added, “condense in comparatively brief space the thinking of ordinary volumes.” Such praise from such a source was a powerful persuasive for the re-publication of the book in this country. An edition was speedily issued, and its reception by the American public was such as is seldom accorded to the first work of an unknown author. The judgment of Hugh Miller was abundantly affirmed by men of renown among ourselves.
Soon after, the present publishers learned that the author of "The Christian Life” had been a frequent, though anonymous, contributor to the periodical literature of his native country. A correspondence with him was thereupon opened, which resulted in a contract on his part to furnish