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HISTORY OF NORMANDY
SIR FRANCIS PALGRAVE, K.H.
RICHARD SANS-PEUR-RICHARD LE-BON-RICHARD III.
-ROBERT LE-DIABLE_WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.
Narratione autem historica (ait Augustinus) cum præterita etiam hominum
instituta narrantur, non inter humana instituta ipsa historia numeranda
[The right of Translation and Reproduction is reserved.]
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
SIR JOHN ROMILLY, K.B.,
MASTER OF THE ROLLS
MY DEAR SIR,
You have honoured me with your kind permission that I should explain, in a few words addressed to yourself, the circumstances in which the Third and Fourth Volumes of this History are now published.
The Fourth Volume was printed throughout (with exception of the “Summary") several years since. Some corrections in it were afterwards planned by my father ; but it represents, on the whole, his maturest judgment on the events narrated.
The completion of the Third Volume (postponed for personal reasons to the composition of the Fourth), had formed the author's occupation during the leisure hours of the last four years of his life. Great part had been written previously; and it was his wish to revise the whole, incorporating in it the fruits of additional study and of visits to the scenes of the principal events described. Death, however, in July 1861, stayed his hand when this revision had been completed only to the end of Chapter III.
From this point onwards (Chapters IV to XV), the book has been edited by me.
From a task for which I did not feel myself qualified, I should have shrunk, had it not been for the advice which you kindly gave me, to
print the remaining manuscripts with the least possible amount of addition, and for the encouragement which you held out, that the work, if so performed, would be better done by a son than by any abler or more accomplished man, not connected so closely with the author. I trust that this explanation may procure pardon for the want of complete finish in some passages, and for the errors which my best care has been probably unable to avoid. However imperfectly I may have practised it, one who, more than most sons, had the privilege, during many years, of living with his father as his most intimate and dearest friend, could hardly fail to learn the lesson, how History should be written.
For those who may wish to know the exact amount of the Editor's responsibility, the following details in regard to the Third Volume are added.
Chapters I to III were completed by the author. IV was printed, but not finally arranged, by July 1861. V (as stated on p. 271), has been put together, partly from fragments in type and in manuscript, partly by a reprint from the author's small Anglo-Saxon History. VI continues these extracts. It had been doubtful to my father (I may add) whether to adopt this plan himself, or to omit from this book what he had described before, or to rewrite the narrative. But it was his intention to make use, for the next portion of the history, of an article published in the Quarterly Review, of October 1844 (No. 148). Chapter VII has been, therefore, composed partly from this article, in part from manuscript sources.
The whole reign of the Conqueror in England, Chapters VIII to XIV, has been printed from the almost perfect manuscript prepared originally for publication, but destined, as noticed before, for a revision which was never to be accomplished. Chapter XV is a selection
from the materials which the author had hoped to work up into a more complete and continuous survey.
The Appendix has been reproduced from a privately printed, but not finally corrected, pamphlet, in the formation of which my father was, I believe, much assisted by the lists drawn up by M. de Gerville. I have added this, in hope that it may, in some degree, serve to replace the authentic catalogue (so far as such could be compiled), of the Conqueror's companions, which it was the author's wish to give.
For almost all the dates, for the division into paragraphs, for the marginal notes and headings, from Chapter V to XV, Books Second and Third, with the “Summary" from Chapter IV to the end of the Fourth Book, I am responsible. A very few additional words and corrections have been inserted, and are distinguished by enclosure within angular brackets.
These indications will, I hope, make it clear that the volumes now published have not suffered much by the author's death. Except in one chapter, the work was, by that time, substantially completed. What has been lost lies principally in the additions which would have been made on the effects of the Conquest, and in the Notes, which were, I believe, to have given references to the authorities employed.
A few words of more personal nature may, I trust, be permitted me in conclusion. It was my father's hope that he might live to make the book of which these volumes form the most important portion, his best contribution to the history of England. He therefore dedicated it to the Friend who (in his judgment) had beyond all others advanced our knowledge of that history, and whose high and noble nature he had proved in an almost life-long friendship. They have been both called to rest from the labours which only advanced age, in Mr. Hal