Literary Taste, by Arnold Bennett

Chapter xii

An English Library: Period ii

After dealing with the formation of a library of authors up to John Dryden, I must logically arrange next a scheme for the period covered roughly by the eighteenth century. There is, however, no reason why the student in quest of a library should follow the chronological order. Indeed, I should advise him to attack the nineteenth century before the eighteenth, for the reason that, unless his taste happens to be peculiarly “Augustan,” he will obtain a more immediate satisfaction and profit from his acquisitions in the nineteenth century than in the eighteenth. There is in eighteenth-century literature a considerable proportion of what I may term “unattractive excellence,” which one must have for the purposes of completeness, but which may await actual perusal until more pressing and more human books have been read. I have particularly in mind the philosophical authors of the century.

PROSE WRITERS. £ s. d.
JOHN LOCKE, Philosophical Works: Bohn’s Edition (2 vols.) 0 7 0
SIR ISAAC NEWTON, Principia (sections 1, 2, and 3): Macmillans 0 12 0
Gilbert Burnet, History of His Own Time: Everyman’s Library 0 1 0
William Wycherley, Best Plays: Mermaid Series 0 2 6
WILLIAM CONGREVE, Best Plays: Mermaid Series 0 2 6
Jonathan Swift, Tale of a Tub: Scott Library 0 1 0
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels: Temple Classics 0 1 6
DANIEL DEFOE, Robinson Crusoe: World’s Classics 0 1 0
DANIEL DEFOE, Journal of the Plague Year: Everyman’s Library 0 1 0
Joseph Addison, Sir Richard Steele, Essays: Scott Library 0 1 0
William Law, Serious Call: Everyman’s Library 0 1 0
Lady Mary W. Montagu, Letters: Everyman’s Library 0 1 0
George Berkeley, Principles of Human Knowledge: New Universal Library 0 1 0
SAMUEL RICHARDSON, Clarissa (abridged): Routledge’s Edition 0 2 0
John Wesley, Journal: Everyman’s Library (4 vols.) 0 4 0
HENRY FIELDING, Tom Jones: Routledge’s Edition 0 2 0
HENRY FIELDING, Amelia: Routledge’s Edition 0 2 0
HENRY FIELDING, Joseph Andrews: Routledge’s Edition 0 2 0
David Hume, Essays: World’s Classics 0 1 0
LAURENCE STERNE, Tristram Shandy: World’s Classics 0 1 0
LAURENCE STERNE, Sentimental Journey: New Universal Library 0 1 0
Horace Walpole, Castle of Otranto: King’s Classics 0 1 6
Tobias Smollett, Humphrey Clinker: Routledge’s Edition 0 2 0
Tobias Smollett, Travels through France and Italy: World’s Classics 0 1 0
ADAM SMITH, Wealth of Nations: World’s Classics (2 vols.) 0 2 0
Samuel Johnson, Lives of the Poets: World’s Classics (2 vols.) 0 2 0
Samuel Johnson, Rasselas: New Universal Library 0 1 0
JAMES BOSWELL, Life of Johnson: Everyman’s Library (2 vols.) 0 2 0
Oliver Goldsmith, Works: Globe Edition 0 3 6
Henry Mackenzie, The Man of Feeling: Cassell’s National Library 0 0 6
Sir Joshua Reynolds, Discourses on Art: Scott Library 0 1 0
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the French Revolution: Scott Library 0 1 0
Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Present Discontents: New Universal Library 0 1 0
EDWARD GIBBON, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: World’s Classics (7 vols.) 0 7 0
Thomas Paine, Rights of Man: Watts and Co.‘s Edition 0 1 0
RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN, Plays: World’s Classics 0 1 0
Fanny Burney, Evelina: Everyman’s Library 0 1 0
Gilbert White, Natural History of Selborne: Everyman’s Library 0 1 0
Arthur Young, Travels in France: York Library 0 2 0
Mungo Park, Travels: Everyman’s Library 0 1 0
Jeremy Bentham, Introduction to the Principles of Morals: Clarendon Press 0 6 6
THOMAS ROBERT MALTHUS, Essay on the Principle of Population: Ward, Lock’s Edition 0 3 0
William Godwin, Caleb Williams: Newnes’s Edition 0 1 0
Maria Edgeworth, Helen: Macmillan’s Illustrated Edition 0 2 6
JANE AUSTEN, Novels: Nelson’s New Century Library (2 vols.) 0 4 0
James Morier, Hadji Baba: Macmillan’s Illustrated Novels 0 2 6
£5 1 0

The principal omissions here are Jeremy Collier, whose outcry against the immorality of the stage is his slender title to remembrance; Richard Bentley, whose scholarship principally died with him, and whose chief works are no longer current; and “Junius,” who would have been deservedly forgotten long ago had there been a contemporaneous Sherlock Holmes to ferret out his identity.

POETS. £ s. d.
Thomas Otway, Venice Preserved: Temple Dramatists 0 1 0
Matthew Prior, Poems on Several Occasions: Cambridge English Classics 0 4 6
John Gay, Poems: Muses’ Library (2 vols.) 0 2 0
ALEXANDER POPE, Works: Globe Edition 0 3 0
Isaac Watts, Hymns: Any hymn-book 0 1 0
James Thomson, The Seasons: Muses’ Library 0 1 0
Charles Wesley, Hymns: Any hymn-book 0 1 0
THOMAS GRAY, Samuel Johnson, William Collins, Poems: Muses’ Library 0 1 0
James Macpherson (Ossian), Poems: Canterbury Poets 0 1 0
THOMAS CHATTERTON, Poems: Muses’ Library (2 vols.) 0 2 0
WILLIAM COWPER, Poems: Canterbury Poets 0 1 0
WILLIAM COWPER, Letters: World’s Classics 0 1 0
George Crabbe, Poems: Methuen’s Little Library 0 1 6
WILLIAM BLAKE, Poems: Muses’ Library 0 1 0
William Lisle Bowles, Hartley Coleridge, Poems: Canterbury Poets 0 1 0
ROBERT BURNS, Works: Globe Edition 0 3 6
£1 7 0
SUMMARY OF THE PERIOD. £ s. d.
39 prose writers in 60 volumes, costing £5 1 0
18 poets " 18 " " 1 7 0
57 78 £6 8 0

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Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31