Excerpt from Specimens of the Pre-Shakesperean Drama, Vol. 1: With an Notes, and a Glossary
Some four years ago it became clear that the two volumes originally announced as the scope of this book would not suffice. In the first place, a good many minute but not insignificant facts regarding the history of almost every period of the drama had come to light, making necessary a somewhat longer historical sketch than was originally planned. In the second place, it seemed not merely desirable, but even imperative, to illustrate certain phases of the early drama which had in collections of a similar character either been neglected or not sharply defined against the apparently monotonous background of mediaeval dramatic art. Thirdly, a somewhat different kind of annotation from that hitherto provided seemed worth attempting, if these. Volumes were to serve as an effective introduction to an art as spacious and as hospitable as the mediaeval Church, and to render intelligible and vital to the student forms of art so differ ent from ours in aim, in spirit, in method, in conventions, and in material accessories. A plan for a three-volume edition was therefore submitted to the general editors of the series and to the publishers, who readily agreed to any change that would make the book more useful and interesting.
At the suggestion and request of some teachers who wish to use the book, the texts have been put together in two volumes, and the whole of the illustrative and explanatory material reserved for the third. It is hoped that this arrangement will make the volumes more convenient for use.
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