Handbook of Familiar Quotations: Chiefly from English Authors by Other
Originally published in 1853 and reissued here in the revised and enlarged third edition of 1859, this collection of verse quotations ranges across a broad spectrum of texts and authors. While modern scholarship has revealed the work's compiler to be Isabella Rushton Preston, very little beyond her name is known about her. Beginning with the Book of Genesis and other scriptural selections, the collection moves through Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, Pope and many more. It also devotes space to the more contemporaneous poetry of Romantics such as Byron, Wordsworth and Coleridge. The choices of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century poetry in particular offer modern readers an insight into the literary tastes of both the compiler and the society she inhabited. The brief preface expresses the hope that the work will prove 'useful and amusing' to readers who may already know a quotation but cannot name its source. A thorough index is also provided.