Charlotte Smith's History of England and her Prefatory Advertisement (1806)
PEACE OF AMIENS.
IN A SERIES OF LETTERS TO A YOUNG LADY
BY CHARLOTTE SMITH.
PRINTED FOR RICHARD PHILLIPS, No. 6, BRIDGE STREET,
BY J. G. BARNARD, 57, SNOW-HILL.
Price. 15s. bound.
The Histories of England are already so numerous, that it would seem unnecessary to compile another, especially as many are written professedly for the use of schools. It appeared, however, to be desirable to produce one, in a single volume, chiefly for the perusal of young ladies; a volume, which, besides containing all that should be necessary to be known, should also touch on the manners, dresses, and arts, of the various periods described, while every thing either tedious or improper for the perusal of young women, should be omitted.
I had not, however, proceeded far in my undertaking before I found that it would unavoidable extend to a much more voluminous work, than I had either health or means to execute, and required a research into books to which I had not access, and a degree of labour which I was quite unable to encounter. After having finished, therefore, about eight hundred pages, I was under the necessity of relinquishing an engagement, for the due execution of which I was totally disqualified, by the state of my health, aggravated by heavy family afflictions.
The continuation was undertaken by a lady, who, I have no doubt, has proved herself competent to her task. Many of her proof sheets have passed through my hands; but I am not to be considered as entirely responsible for more than the first eight hundred pages of the work.
It was my design to have finished the history at the period of the decease of George the second: in conformity, however, to the example of those who have written similar works for young people, it has been judged proper to continue it to the present period.