Qa64 1N U(U. GENERAL PREFACE TO THE NOVELS AND POEMS In accepting a proposal for a definite edition of these productions in prose and verse I have found an opportunity of classifying the novels under heads that show approximately the authors aim, if not his achievement, in each book of the series at the date of its composition. Sometimes the aim was lower than at other times; sometimes, where the intention was primarily high, force of circumstances (among which the chi were the necessities of magazine publication) compelled a modification, great or slight, of the original plan. Of a few, however, of the longer novels, and of many of the shorter tales, it may be assumed that they stand to-day much as they would have stood if no accidents had obstructed the channel between the writer and the public. That many of them, if any, stand as they would stand if written now is not to be supposed. In the classification of these fictitious chronicles for which the name of The Wessex Novels was adopted, and is still retained the firstgroup is called Novels of Character and Environment, and contains those which approach most nearly to uninfluenced works; also one or two which, whatever their quality in some few of their episodes, may claim a verisimilitude in general treatment and detail. The second group is distinguished as Romances and Fantasies, a sufficiently descriptive definition.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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