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EDITED BY THE RIGHT HON.
SIR MOUNTSTUART E. GRANT DUFF
Late Governor of the Madras Presidency
In the beginning of last May I delivered at the Mansion House, in connection with the University Extension Movement, an address upon Victorian poetry, to which I had from early days given much attention. Presently afterwards it was suggested to me that I should make a Victorian Anthology, and I agreed to do so, in the hope that I might bring together, for the benefit of my readers, a good many old friends, and enable them to form a good many new acquaintances. In forming the earlier portion of the selection, I have been much assisted by a manuscript Anthology made by me for my own use in the early sixties.
I have not the slightest desire to sustain, by the present publication, any critical theory, or to enable my readers to study the general development of poetry during the Victorian Age. There are abundant helps to doing that, as, for instance, the large and very useful book of Mr. Miles, entitled The Poets of the Century. My purpose is a far humbler one; I wish to collect a number of Victorian poems, very varied indeed in character, but all of which happen to give me pleasure, because I think the chances are that they will give pleasure to not a few other people who have similar likes and dislikes, though I am perfectly certain that my choice will be in many instances entirely disapproved by those whose likes and dislikes are different. That