In his introduction Auden defines the conditions which demarcate major from minor, which is not necessarily an aesthetic Judgment, and the criteria of selection or omission in this very representative collection of poems which were first published between 1800 and 1900. He further explains his own personal loyalty to the dictates of his taste (what he enjoys) and Judgment (what he admires) and posits the first function of an anthology as ""educative."" Here, with the obvious exclusion of Shelley, Keats, Byron, Coleridge, etc. there are still a great many familiar poets along with those not necessarily known at all: Rossetti, Scott, Landor, Southey, the ""ill tempered and queer"" Mr. Lear, among others. In the question of choosing between two poems of equal calibre, he has chosen the less obvious. There is a chronological table of political, social and intellectual history of the century along with occasional notes on some of the contributors and poems. The book has been designed for course use and for individual pleasure and should serve both well.