economics, and social life must remain the chief concern of this History; art and literature, except in their direct bearing on these subjects, are best treated in separate and special works; nor indeed is this direct influence so great as is frequently supposed.
A full index to the whole work will be published when the series of volumes has been completed. A carefully constructed table of contents and a brief index of names accompany each volume. Footnotes are deliberately excluded, and quotations, even from contemporary authorities, are sparingly introduced. On the other hand, each chapter is supplemented by a full working bibliography of the subject. These bibliographies are not intended to be exhaustive. Obsolete works are intentionally excluded, and a careful selection has been made with the view of supplying historical students with a compendious survey of trustworthy and accessible literature.
Some of the points of view, to which this preface has referred, have been urged again in the introductory note from the pen of the late Bishop of London which is prefixed to the present volume. We have printed it with a few changes of a kind which we had Dr Creighton’s express authority to make, and we are glad to think that it shows both the cordial interest taken by him in the scheme designed by Lord Acton, and the agreement as to its main principles between the late Regius Professor and the eminent historian who like him formerly filled a chair in this University.
On behalf of the Syndics of the Press, and on our own behalf, we desire to express our thanks, in which we feel assured that Lord Acton would have cordially joined, for valuable assistance given in regard to the present volume by the Rev. J. N. Figgis, of St Catharine’s College, and Mr W. A. J. Archbold, of Peterhouse. Mr Archbold was also of much service in advancing the general distribution of chapters and other editorial arrangements. The advice of Professor F. W. Maitland has been invaluable to all concerned, and will, we trust, continue to be given. The ready and courteous cooperation of the Secretary to the Syndics, Mr R. T. Wright, of Christ’s College, has from the first been of the greatest advantage to the Editors. They confidently hope for a continuation of the aid which they have received and are receiving from historical scholars in this University and elsewhere. While all readers of this work will regret the loss of the guidance to which the undertaking had been originally entrusted, it is most keenly felt by those who are endeavouring to carry out the late Lord Acton’s conception.
A. W. W.
G. W. P.