English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History eBook

Henry Coppée
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 540 pages of information about English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History.

There was a time when the press was greatly trammelled in England, and license of expression was easily charged with constructive treason; but at present it is remarkably free, and the great, the government, and existing abuses, receive no soft treatment at its hands.

The London Times was started by John Walter, a printer, in 1788, there having been for three years before a paper called the London Daily Universal Register.  In 1803 his son, John, went into partnership, when the circulation was but 1,000.  Within ten years it was 5,000.  In 1814, cleverly concealing the purpose from his workmen, he printed the first sheet ever printed by steam, on Koenig’s press.  The paper passed, at his death, into the hands of his son, the third John, who is a scholar, educated at Eton and Oxford, like his father a member of Parliament, and who has lately been raised to the peerage.  The Times is so influential that it may well be called a third estate in the realm:  its writers are men of merit and distinction; its correspondence secures the best foreign intelligence; and its travelling agents, like Russell and others, are the true historians of a war.  English journalism, it is manifest, is eminently historical.  The files of English newspapers are the best history of the period, and will, by their facts and comments, hereafter confront specious and false historians.  Another thing to be observed is the impersonality of the British press, not only in the fact that names are withheld, but that the articles betray no authorship; that, in short, the paper does not appear as the glorification of one man or set of men, but like an unprejudiced relator, censor, and judge.

Of the principal London papers, the Morning Post (Liberal, but not Radical,) was begun in 1772.  The Globe (at first Liberal, but within a short time Tory), in 1802.  The Standard (Conservative), in 1827.  The Daily News (high-class Liberal), in 1846.  The News announced itself as pledged to Principles of Progress and Improvement. The Daily Telegraph was started in 1855, and claims the largest circulation.  It is also a Liberal paper.


Addison, Joseph, 258. 
Akenside, Mark, 351. 
Alcuin, 40. 
Aldhelm, Abbot, 40. 
Alfred the Great, 42. 
Alfric, surnamed Germanicus, 40. 
Alison, Sir Archibald, 447. 
Alured of Rievaux, 49. 
Arbuthnot, John, 252. 
Arnold, Matthew, 438. 
Arnold, Thomas, 448. 
Ascham, Roger, 103. 
Ashmole, Elias, 232. 
Aubrey, John, 232. 
Austen, Jane, 411.

Bacon, Francis, 156. 
Bacon, Roger, 59. 
Bailey, Philip James, 437. 
Baillie, Joanna, 368. 
Barbauld, Anne Letitia, 359. 
Barbour, John, 89. 
Barclay, Robert, 228. 
Barham, Richard Harris, 437. 
Barklay, Alexander, 102. 
Barrow, Isaac, 230. 

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English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.