This is the first in a new series -- the Centenary Series in American Literature. Its particular interest is enhanced by publication this season of Van Wyck Brooks' The Times of Melville and Whitman which fills in much of the detail of the exact period. War with Mexico, the expansion of slavery, the promulgation of the theory of Manifest Destiny, the expansion of modes of communication and travel, these backgrounded the writings collected in this volume. Some of the names are familiar to every reader,- Emerson, Agassiz, Channing, Longfellow, Melville, Cooper, Lowell. Others are better known in other capacities,- Abraham Lincoln (an early speech in Congress), Daniel Webster, Fanny Kemble, Mark Hopkins. A book not likely to attract much general interest, but valuable for college libraries and students of the period. This marks a milestone in American writing coming into its own, this year 1847. The introductory survey and the introductory notes to the selections are important.