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HE work, of which the first volume is now presented to the reader, makes no pretension to the title of a complete Bibliography of the County of Cornwall; it is content to be considered merely as a contribution to its literary history. An experience of several years spent in the collection of the materials has only served to show the deficiencies and imperfections which still exist. The difficulties of procuring accurate information about local and ephemeral publications are manifold, and it has only been by devoting to the subject the leisure hours of many years that the matter contained in these pages has been accumulated. When the authors first proposed to themselves the execution of this work, they recognized the desirability of furnishing a Catalogue :
I. Of all works written by natives of Cornwall, members of Cornish families, persons resident in the County.
II. Of all works relating to the County, even though written by persons unconnected therewith.
They further resolved that the works they would describe should be of no limited character. They determined to include within the scope of their undertaking not merely books of permanent interest, but also pamphlets, political tracts, literary and scientific papers, reports of societies, patents, dramas, music, songs, extracts from sale catalogues, maps, manuscripts, &c.
One special feature of this work consists of the lists of manuscripts which will be found described under the names of the various writers; by far the larger portion of them has never before been referred to in any book on the County. All the printed catalogues of manuscripts in the British Museum and
other libraries have been carefully consulted, and for those years during which the lists of additions to the manuscripts in the British Museum have not been given to the public in a printed form, the authors have endeavoured, but necessarily with imperfect success, to collect the information from the manuscript catalogues in the Museum itself. The reader will not fail to notice the valuable information which has been obtained from the three Reports of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. The Calendars of the Records now in course of publication under the direction of the Master of the Rolls being still in an imperfect and unconnected state have not been referred to. On the completion of these calendars the selection and enlargement of the matter referring to Cornwall would, in the hands of a skilful antiquary, form the subject of a very valuable volume.
A perusal of these pages will show that the writers of Cornwall bear no inconsiderable place in the literature of their country. The list of more eminent names given in the foot note* bears evidence to the comprehensive character of their pursuits and tastes. It comprises statesmen, poets, physicians, and men eminent in every branch of science.
It is believed that the lists of their writings are here given with more fullness and in a more complete form than in any other published work. Let the reader compare the accounts of any of these persons with those given in the pages
Henwood, W. J., F.R.S., Geologist.
James, Sir Henry, F.R.S., Military Engineer.
Jane, Very Rev. William, Theologian.
Johannes de S. Germano Cornubiensis, Theologian.
Kendall, Rev. George, Theologian.
Oliver, William, F.R.S. d. 1716. Physician.
of such esteemed and standard works of reference as those of Watt, Lowndes, Darling, or Allibone, and he will speedily find that by concentrating constant and unwearied diligence upon one branch of Bibliography an account of several lines has been expanded into several columns.*
Biographical memoranda respecting the whole of the writers spoken of in the Bibliotheca Cornubiensis have been given after the mention of their names, and neither labour nor expense has been spared to render these memoranda complete and trustworthy. Not only have facts and references been gleaned from books of the most varied character, but many parish registers have been examined and letters have been addressed to all presumable sources of information.
It may perhaps be observed as a peculiarity that hardly any references are given to county histories and other works of a similar nature; the intention, however, in this undertaking being to refer to comparatively unexplored sources and not to general matter already well known, all notices of these books have, with very few exceptions, been omitted.
In describing the works which have come under their notice the authors have recognized the value of giving, as far as possible, a verbatim copy of the original title page, and in those cases where from extreme length it has been found absolutely necessary to abbreviate a title marks have been inserted to indicate the omissions. The pagination and publishing price have also been added. Great attention has been given to the subject of anonymous and pseudonymous literature, and many works and papers have now for the first time been assigned to their respective authors.
Whilst the authors of this work would fain believe that its interest is not confined to natives of their own County, they are yet aware that it is by the future historians of Cornwall that its value will be most fully estimated. Within this volume is brought together an immense catalogue of local materials such as could not elsewhere be found, with exact references to the various sources of informa
• The article on the Attorney General William Noy, on pp. 401-405 in the Bibliotheca Cornubiensis, will serve as a case in point to illustrate what has been attempted to be accomplished in this work. It consists of 56 biographical references, 24 titles of books, and editions of books of which the Attorney General was wholly or in part the author, 5 titles of books in which portions are addressed to him, or in which he is especially spoken of, 42 notices of MSS., a large majority of which are by him, while the remainder concern his life and his writings. The whole gives 107 distinct facts, and occupies 446 lines, whilst in Watt the account occupies but 20 lines, in Bohn's Lowndes the same number, in the Encyclopædia Britannica (8th ed) the same number, in the English Cyclopædia, 32, in Allibone, 94, and in Bliss' Wood, 189; in the four latter works the greater portion of the space is occupied with details of biography and criticisms of the author's writings.
tion; personal details have now been preserved which at some future time it would be much more difficult if not actually impossible to obtain; and the whole has been so digested and methodized as to render it easy of reference to those desirous of consulting it. In connection with this latter point it may be mentioned that the second part of this undertaking will contain (in addition to a mass of matter which could not be classified under authors' names) cross references, under such headings as Cornish Language, Geology, Mineralogy, Botany, etc., to all the information published in the preceding part. By this means the study of any particular subject connected with the County will be rendered comparatively an easy process.
The authors have now the pleasant duty of recording the names of those gentlemen from whom they have chiefly derived assistance.
Thanks are especially due to William Sandys, Esq., The Rev. Edmund Boger, John Brendon Curgenven, Esq., and William Noy, Esq., for furnishing full particulars of the titles and collations of the Cornish books in their Libraries.
To Thomas Quiller Couch, Esq., of Bodmin, and Charles Chorley, Esq., of Truro, they are indebted for the use of some MS. collections formed by them with the intention they once entertained of publishing a catalogue of works on Cornwall.
W. J. Henwood, Esq., and the Rev. C. W. Boase have most kindly perused the proof sheets during the passage of this work through the press, and have furnished the authors with numerous suggestions respecting alterations and additions.
To J. J. A. Boase, Esq., and G. B. Millett, Esq., of Penzance, Richard Edmonds, Esq., of Plymouth, Charles Barham, Esq., of Truro, and N. Hare, jun., Esq., of Liskeard, they have rarely applied in vain for particulars concerning the lives and publications of the inhabitants of those towns with which they are respectively connected.
Mr. John Kinsman, Bookseller, of Penzance, has placed them under numerous obligations for collations of all the local works which have passed through his hands during a period of some years.
To the Clergy, not only of Cornwall but of many other parts of England, they have to tender their warmest thanks for furnishing extracts from church registers without, in the majority of instances, making any demand for the fees justly due to them for such services.