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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, and 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
* Adams, John Couch, F.R.S., Astronomer.
Henwood, W. J., F.R.S., Geologist.
Fitz-Geoffry, Rev. Charles, Theologian and Poet.
Mayow, John, F.R.S., Physician.