October 26, 2021

Literature Journal

World literature news

The Englishman’s Library

The Englishman’s Library was an English book series of the 1840s, a venture of the publisher James Burns. It ran eventually to 31 volumes.

The title had been used already in 1824, for The Englishman’s library, edited by E. H. L., published by Charles Knight.[1] The series was announced in ambitious fashion in the British Critic.[2] It was started by William Gresley and Edward Churton, with propagandistic aims; the works are still a source for the “condition of England” debate of the time. Gresley wrote six novels for the series.[3]




According to its prospectus, the Library aimed to “unite a popular style with sound Christian principles”. The announced authors did not in fact all contribute.[4]

Those behind the series were younger High Church men who wished to imitate some of the success of the Tracts for the Times. They were less hostile to the Tractarians than older, more orthodox members of the Hackney Phalanx.[5]

List of volumes[edit]

11840William GresleyClement Walton, or the English Citizennovel[6]
2Henry HowardScripture History in Familiar Lectures (Old Testament)[6]
31839Simon Patrick, edited by Thomas ChamberlainThe Parable of the Pilgrim[6]First published 1664.[7] Chamberlain was of Christ Church, Oxford and St Thomas the Martyr’s Church, Oxford.
4Thomas ChamberlainA Help to Knowledge[6]
51840William PalmerA Compendious Ecclesiastical History from the Earliest Period to the Present Time[8]Church history[6]
6Thomas KenThe Practice of Divine Love
7Robert AndersonThe Lord’s Prayer, a manual of religious knowledgeAnderson was perpetual curate of Trinity Chapel, Brighton
81840Edward ChurtonThe Early English Church
9Francis Edward PagetTales of the Village vol. I[9]
10William SewellChristian MoralsBased on Sewell’s lectures as White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy.[10]
11William SherlockHenry Melvill(editor)Public Worship: a Practical Discourse of Religious AssembliesPublished in 1681 against dissenters; and again in 1700.[11][12]
12Robert Isaac WilberforceThe Five Empires: a Compendium of Ancient History
131840William GresleyThe Siege of Lichfield, a Tale illustrative of the Great RebellionNovel[13]
141840Henry HowardScripture History. The New Testament[14]
151841William GresleyCharles Lever, or the Man of the Nineteenth CenturyNovel[13]
16Francis Edward PagetTales of the Village vol. II[9]
17Dorothy Pakington, William Pridden (editor)[15]The Art of ContentmentDevotional work. It was first published attributed to the author of The Whole Duty of Man;[16] in the 1840s this author was still widely identified with Pakington. The 1864 suggestion of Francis Barham that the author was Richard Allestree is now the scholarly consensus.[17] Pridden became vicar of West Stow.
18Francis Edward PagetTales of the Village vol. III[9]
191841William GresleyThe Forest of Arden, a Tale Illustrative of the English ReformationNovel[13]
20Robert Isaac WilberforceRutiliusNovel
211842Francis Charles MassingberdEnglish History of the leaders of the Reformation
22William Henry TealeLives of Eminent English LaymenContaining Lord FalklandIzaak Walton, and Robert Nelson.
23Thomas Chamberlain (editor)Selected Letters
241843William GresleyChurch-Clavering, or The SchoolmasterNovel, in which he developed ideas on education[13]
251843Henry FormbyA Visit to the East; comprising Germany and the Danube, Constantinople, Asia Minor, Egypt, and Idumea
261843[18]William PriddenAustralia; Its History and Present Condition
271844Samuel WilberforceA History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America[19]
281845Samuel FoxMonks and Monasteries: being an account of English monachism
291845Edward WilsonThe Martyr of Carthage[20]Novel
301845William Gouan ToddA History of the Ancient Church in IrelandTodd was then curate of Kilkredy.
311846William GresleyConiston Hall, or the JacobitesNovel[13]

The Juvenile Englishman’s Library[edit]

Paget as editor started a children’s book collection, The Juvenile Englishman’s Library, in 1844. It was inspired in part by the success of Edgar Taylor‘s English translations of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The series ran to 21 titles. Later John Fuller Russell was editor.[21][22] Volume 4, Popular Tales (1844), had translation of fairy tales by Friedrich de la Motte FouquéWilhelm Hauff and Karl Spindler.[23] Four volumes were by John Mason Neale.