This is in no sense intended as a review of these first two volumes in the projected four volume scholarly study of modern literary criticism. The intention is simply to draw to your notice this definitive work, indicate the general approach and scope and the limitations of these initial volumes. The period spanned -- late 18th and early 19th century; the countries, primarily England, Scotland, France, Germany and Italy, this really laws the groundwork for the two volumes to come, in which the study goes on to contemporary times. The term ""criticism"" extends to include what has been thought about the principles and theory of literature its nature, function, relations to other activities of man, the kinds of criticism, the devices and techniques, its origin and history. The author is the Sterling Professor of Comparative Literature at Yale.