The present work is an endeavour to give an approximately
complete and detailed survey of the Periodical Essay of the
Eighteenth Century and its writers. In the preparation of the
work, the author has seen and examined over one hundred and fifty periodicals . Many of these are now exceedingly rare, an
full use has been made of the valuable collections in the great
libraries: - The -British Museum Library, London; the Bodleian
Library, Oxford; the Advocate's, the Signet's, and the University Libraries, Edinburgh. In addition the author has been
privileged to see a number of periodicals in private collection.
The question of arrangement presented difficulties. The
simplest solution was to adopt as far as possible a chronological plan. The advantages of this scheme outweighed the dis-
:advantage of a certain 'catalogue -y' effect which was almost
inevitable when so many periodicals were being passed under review. A number of illustrative extracts support the critical
Up to the present time no work has appeared devoted exclusively to this subject and limited to this period. Accordingly this endeavour to deal with the whole field of the
periodical essay in the eighteenth century, (with the Martial
exception of the work of Nathan Drake of over a century ago)
is pioneer work, and an original contribution to the subject
based on wholly personal investigation.
An index of periodicals alphabetically and chronologically arranged concludes the work.