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Preface.

10 many Histories of England already exist,

that any fresh work of that class may be

reasonably required to offer some new feature to establish a claim on public notice. An endeavour has been made to provide this, by devoting a larger share of attention than is usually done to the history of our island before the Norman invasion, an event which by some writers seems to be considered as almost the beginning of authentic British history. They implicitly receive the necessarily hasty and imperfect statements of Cæsar as containing all that need be known of our earlier state; have, unfortunately, some appearance of authority from Milton for dismissing the events of the six hundred years of Anglo-Saxon rule as

no more worthy of attention than the combats of crows and kites ;” and are content to see in the

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