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THE 'Civil Service History of England,' like the 'Civil Service Geography,' has been compiled chiefly to assist candidates in preparing to be examined for appointments under the Crown. This primary purpose has been steadily kept in view. It was no part of this purpose to provide the candidate with cut-anddried answers to stereotyped questions, nor to pretend to enable him to reply successfully to every question that official ingenuity can devise. Any book making such professions would be open to the distrust of all earnest learners. On the contrary, the aim of the 'Civil Service History of England' is simply to present the leading facts of our rough island-story' in an order so simple, and so unincumbered by irrelevant matter, as to place the candidate in a position to acquire them rapidly and exactly, and to return precise and satisfactory replies to a fair proportion of any set of questions put to him in order to test his knowledge of the subject. For such as have ampler leisure or a wider ambition plenty of comprehensive manuals already exist; but even in employing these it may be found useful to consult a work in a smaller and more compact form, and those concerned in the production of this 'Fact-Book' are not without hope that it may be of use to the general student as well as to the candidate for whom it has been especially designed.
There are two considerations that may be supposed to Affect the candidate for appointments in the Civil Service, which do not, as a rule, affect the general student. In the first place, the magnitude of the end to be attained, involving, as it often does, the gain or loss of provision for a lifetime, stimulates even the most inconsiderate and indolent to an
effort of industry; in the second place, the short space generally available for preparation makes it imperative that no time should be lost or labour wasted. Both these considerations
have been borne in mind in this compilation. Having regard to the former, no attempt has been made to disguise the extent of the work or the amount of application required to ensure success; while, as respects the latter, every care has been taken to remove unnecessary obstacles, and to reduce the labour to a minimum by simplicity of arrangement, conciseness of expression, and facility of reference. It is with this last intention that a fuller General Index has been affixed to the book than is generally found in works of a similar kind.
For convenience' sake, the 'Civil Service History of England' has been divided into Two Parts, either of which may be regarded as separate and independent. The first of these consists of a chronological summary of the successive events in English History, arranged in numbered and titled clauses, and grouped in eight chapters corresponding to the eight natural divisions of the subject. At the commencement of each chapter is its respective genealogical table, and wherever smaller tables are required to explain the text they are given in the shape of
The paragraph system has been adopted in this part in order to aid the learner in detaching the information he requires from its surroundings and fixing it in his memory. One of the disadvantages of this method is a certain appearance of disconnection. On the other hand, it has at least the merit of keeping the text within narrow limits, as well as of reducing opportunities for digression; and whenever the learner feels himself oppressed by the steady march of facts, he will find that the Schedular Abstract which concludes the volume will at once enable him to review his progress and test his acquisitions.
The Second Part is made up of eleven sections, to which, in default of a better, the name of Appendices has been given. But it is hoped that they will not be regarded, for this reason alone, as superfluous or undeserving of careful study. In some cases, as in the appendices on 'English Constitutional History' and the 'History of India,' they repeat, in an expanded and
completer form, portions of the subject which are necessarily included in the first part. Here the object has been to allow the learner to study, in a coherent and consequent manner, facts which he would otherwise have to pick out laboriously from the general narrative. In other cases, as in the appendices entitled Inventions and Discoveries,' 6 English Literature,' 'British Possessions,' &c., the information they embody is not contained in the first part, and is treated separately on account of its secondary importance.
Nothing more is needed to explain the Appendices. A glance at the Table of Contents will show their scope and purpose. It should, however, be stated that in compiling the appendix on the History of the Constitution some assistance has been derived from a useful Handbook on that subject by Mr. Alfred P. Hensman, Barrister-at-Law.
With the object of avoiding the inconveniences of folded plates, the maps, which have been prepared by the Editor, are respectively confined to a single page. They are, therefore, restricted in character, but will be found to contain most of the names which are mentioned in the body of the work.
In conclusion, it may appear even to the most ardent and enthusiastic of students that the dates in this book are superabundant. It is not for one moment proposed that they should be learned by rote. But all who have ever striven to acquire a knowledge of events in their proper order will not need the trite reminder that only dates can fix occurrences.
H. A. D.